12:27pm Wednesday 8th June 2011
What should a good CV look like, and what should it contain? Start by thinking about the reason you have a CV - the reason is not to get you a job - even though that is the end result you want. The reason for a CV is to get you an interview.
A basic CV must be short, clear, complete and relevant to the job you apply for. Let's deal with these in order.
1. Keep it short
Keep your CV limited to 2 pages, because it is faster for potential employers to read and forces you to present yourself concisely. Use plain white paper and staple it together without covering binders - this makes scanning or photocopying easier.
2. Make it clear
Your CV should be easy to read, for example:
3. Ensure it is complete
CVs need to have a legally accurate, full and complete record of your employment and qualifications:
4. Make it relevant
Many people are competing for jobs today:
5. Covering letters and emails
Take care and time to create a short and compelling covering letter to use with your CV when applying for jobs:
Why isn't my CV getting me interviews?
At this current time of extreme competition for jobs this is a question many people ask themselves. The answer can be found in approaching the subject of your CV from a different point of view. A key factor to bear in mind is that when you submit ff your CV there will be specific requirements for this job that are different from other jobs.
The question you have to ask yourself is this: do I have the skills or experience required, and does my CV show this clearly? If you do have the requirements you must ensure your CV clearly shows this. If you don't demonstrate your ability to fulfill the job requirements you risk having your CV rejected.
Step 1: Research the role
Before you apply for the job you need to carry out research, either via the recruitment agent, certainly the internet and probably both!
Step 2: Match the research results to your CV
Your CV must show clearly that you have carried out the research to understand the role and the organisation, and that you have the relevant experience in the key areas of the job requirements.
If your experience is not an ideal match to the job. To get an interview in this situation you will need to make extra efforts. If a recruitment agent is your point of contact they can help you. Employers can consider exceptional candidates without the exact requirements, provided that they can give evidence of:
Step 3: Follow up
Contact the person you sent your CV to by phone three days after sending it to make sure it arrived and, in the case of email, it was received and readable. If possible, use the call to re-state your interest in the job, your two best qualities that make you suitable for the role and to politely ask for an interview.