Your CV Should be a “work in progress”; something that is frequently updated with your experience and achievements to reflect and support your career goals. For most however it is something that is given last-minute, rushed revisions in order to meet submission deadlines. You would never attend an interview without first preparing for it, and as your CV is your means for securing an interview, it too requires some work.
Whether you are actively looking to secure a new role, or just need to “spring clean”your CV, the below steps will help you redraft your resume into a more relevant and purposeful document.
1. Keep It Relevant
Consider a profile summary targeted specifically to the position you are applying for and highlighting your relevant skills – don’t be afraid to sell yourself! Your current or most recent employment should be given the most attention on your CV and any subsequent positions should be relevant to the job. If you feel some of your experience is not so relevant, feel free to condense or summarise.
Carefully analyse how you have worded your CV- is there repetition? Can some points be condensed or grouped together to provide essential information? Is there unnecessary “waffle”? You should aim to briefly outline the main responsibilities or scope of the role, without detailing day-to-day activities, and focus largely on achievements.
Your CV is a great opportunity to showcase your previous successes. Identify the main achievements for each position you have held and list these in a sub heading for each entry. Think about times where you excelled and how you added value to your employer and write down 3-4 achievements. Where possible, provide statistics and facts to support statements on past performances.
4. Study the Job Spec
You should tailor your CV to each role you are applying for; each job spec will have its unique competencies and requirements, and your CV should mirror this. Know what each role is looking for and identify the “must haves”. Ask yourself, “If I include this point, will it increase, or decrease, the chances of securing an interview” Only include relevant experience and achievements that match the most important criteria for each position.
Typically, your CV has a 2 minute window to make an impact so keep the layout clear and information accessible. Where possible:
-Try to keep your CV to 2 (max 3) pages.
-Use separate headings to clarify sections.
-Break up any long paragraphs into digestible statements
-Avoid lengthy columns of bullet points
Once you are happy with the layout of your CV, proof read it at least three times and where possible have a peer review it for any mistakes.
For a more detailed discussion, click here for Fastnet Recruitment and Search’s CV optimisation tips. If you would like to register with Fastnet, please forward your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org