Looking for a new job can feel like a massive job just in itself, especially as you have to put together the perfect CV or else you won’t even get noticed, never mind get an interview.
However, the good news is that the latest best seller teaches us that by simply using the right layout, formatting and language and by making sure you include certain key buzzwords and exclude less popular ones, you can boost your CV in minutes and catch a recruiter’s attention instantly.
Top things to avoid:
- Lying: for some this might seem obvious as the chances are your lies will catch up with you at some point, so why take the risk. Sadly however research shows that 26% of CVs contain falsehoods of some kind. No matter how tempting it is, don’t do it.
- Don't forget your audience: the person who is reviewing your CV is looking for something to grab their attention and more importantly inspire them to read on. The person who you are writing this CV for is busy and has little tolerance for the mundane and they don’t want to waste their time with boring content either. Make what you include count.
Things to do:
- Your CV should be no more than two sides of A4 printed double-sided. Research shows 75% of recruiters prefer this.
- The layout should be clean with bullet points and don't feel you have to fill in all the space. Sometimes less really is more.
- Include a personal statement as this is a great opportunity to sell yourself and explain, in a nutshell, why they should be interviewing you.
- Arial, Verdana, Calibri or Times New Roman are ok.
- Comic Sans should not be used.
- Use a font size of 10 or 12 and don’t decrease the font size to cram more on the page.
- Words to avoid: some words are over used, and others are clichéd and really don’t say much about you. Avoid using the following: goal-driven, strong work ethic, multi-tasker, detail-oriented or self-motivated.
- Be direct and use empowering words: you want to get the reader’s attention so the words you use to describe and qualify matter. Words such as: quite, probably, sometimes, possibly are too insipid. Accurate, committed, dependable, flexible, resilient and responsible are strong words and leave an impression.
- Back everything up with evidence: when describing your attributes and skills always back up any statements with evidence of your experience and accomplishments.