This alarming fact should make you sit up and listen - on average a CV will have no more than 15 seconds to make an impression!
Candidate competition is likely to be fierce and this is your one chance to get across your unique selling points to an employer who is likely to be inundated with CV's.
We recommend that you take some time to assess your CV and follow the simple but effective steps below:
Value your own brand
Your brand is your own name. Make sure that employers know who you are and that your name is displayed with sufficient size so that it stands out. Your name should be the first thing that an employer sees so that it straight away it gives your CV a personality.
Create a Profile
A succinct and poignant profile should tell an employer precisely who you are and what you can do for them. Whatever you do, avoid generic statements and clichés. 'A self motivated team player who thrives under pressure has been seen thousands of times before. Think about who you are, what makes you special, and what it is that you want to stand out about you to an employer. Show them what you can do for them. Your CV should be as much about your future as it is your past.
Make use of Impact Words
Try to ensure that every bullet point in your key achievement or career section starts with a 'impact word'. This will help to make a statement more powerful and to sell ideas or beliefs;
Ensure your contact details are professionally displayed
Make sure that it is clear how and where to contact you. Include your full address (where you actually live, not the address of a parent or friend), a landline number, mobile number and your email address. Ensure that your email address gives a professional impression of yourself, email@example.com is really not appropriate for the purposes of job hunting!
Edit it down
Take out any images, graphics or tables. Embedding colour or other graphics just makes it look tacky. Also, there's no need to have the words 'Curriculum Vitae' as it's old fashioned and the document is self explanatory.
Focus on recent and relevant
No one is interested in what you achieved at school in 1991 or your first temp job in 1993. Employers want to know what are doing currently and your recent achievements. When it comes to creating your career and education sections, always start with the most recent first and work backwards. Be disciplined and only retain information that is relevant.
Save some good bits for the interview
Remember that the purpose of your CV is to get you through to an interview. An employer doesn't want War and Peace about you, just an executive summary of you and what you can bring to their table. Your CV should be a platform for further discussions. Provide sufficient valuable and compelling information for an employer to want to get you in for the interview but as a taster and leaving them wanting more.
Check everything thoroughly
Proof reading your CV is essential to ensure you haven't missed anything. It is worth asking a friend to check it over for you as well. Remember to adjust your spell check to English UK and not English US and keep a watchful eye out words of duplicate meaning such as 'here' and 'hear', or 'weather and whether'. A CV featuring spelling or grammatical errors is not going to land you that all important interview.