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A CV is your personal branding document – and you only have six seconds to make an impression.
Stand out CVs
A CV is your personal branding document – and you only have six seconds to make an impression. Yes, that’s how long on average an employer will take to scan your CV before giving your CV a good read or putting your CV down in the ‘nah’ pile – six seconds. So make sure you grab their attention from the get go.
Your CV’s job is to tell a prospective employer who you are, what you have accomplished and what they can expect from you. Below are seven important tips to keep in mind when you are putting together your CV.
Tip 1: Keep it short
Your goal is to keep your CV brief and relevant. The length of the document should be relative to how much work experience you have. For example, if you are a recent graduate, aim for one to two pages at most. If you are further along in your career, then it may be longer, but we recommend no more than three pages. Remember, you want to make all the key information easy to find, and keep the person reading it engaged. The finer details of your work history can be discussed during the interview process.
Tip 2: Tailor your CV for the position
Much like a cover letter, you should take the time to tailor your CV for every role you apply for. Read the advert online, read the job description, if available, and research the company, and then use this information to ensure that the key facts on your CV show that you meet the minimum requirements, and have the right skills for the job.
Tip 3: Keep it real
It is very important to tailor your CV towards the job you want, but you have to be honest about your skills and experience. Don’t oversell yourself, it’s easy to spot flaws and inconsistencies.
Tip 4: Keep it professional
Keep your email address professional, to create the right impression. If you use a funny email address such as partygirrrl20@ or pimpdaddy@ then we recommend creating a ‘formal’ email address just for the job hunting process. Bonus – this keeps your job search communication in one easy to find location.
Tip 5: Check for errors
It’s a no-brainer, but still needs to be said: triple check your CV for typos and mistakes. Unfortunately, the reality is that poor spelling and grammar in a CV may prevent you from progressing with a job application. Take your time, ask a friend to proofread it, and triple check to make sure you get it right.
Tip 6: Formatting matters
Your CV needs a clear and logical structure. With only a very brief opportunity to make that good impression, it’s essential to capture the reader’s attention. Do this by using classic fonts and simple, clear and well laid out information, include relevant keywords, and make your pertinent technical skills easy to spot. Avoid using multiple fonts, big, colourful headlines, or distracting graphics.
Tip 7: Get it in quickly
If you see a role you are keen on, don’t hesitate: apply for the position and don’t wait until the closing date to get in. This is especially true for entry-level roles as companies are frequently inundated with CVs, and it’s possible they may find several suitable candidates to interview, after reviewing the first 10 to 20 CVs.
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