Written by Beth McClements | April 24, 2014
Selling your skill set and previous work experience and qualifications to the employer is of great importance in successfully communicating your suitability for the specific role you have applied for. In today’s climate, no matter what level/seniority of the role, there will undoubtedly be a considerable degree of competition amongst competing candidates. Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a key driver and holds the catalyst to any further success you may enjoy career wise. Therefore it is critically important that your CV stands out (for the good reasons!) and makes an instant impression for the recruiting staff, as at times, some recruiters only take a few seconds to scan a CV.
From the employer’s perspective, whether they are a large to small medium business, the high percentage of applications they receive can be a long drawn out process and take time before they can really identify their final shortlist of candidates. Employers often adopt a simple and definite plan outlining a clear list of essential requirements and will only have a minute or two to scan your CV to decide whether there is a match. Upon successfully matching the requirements for the job, the employer will spend time to have a more in depth look at your CV to determine how relevant your experience is, minimum educational requirements and of course your desire and passion for the job that is being advertised.
The recruitment process can often be rushed and a decision to invite candidates for interview can be a spare of the moment incident where the invitation is based on only a passing glance at your CV. It is therefore vital you have revised and ensure what it says on your CV clearly communicates your roles and responsibilities, experience, skills and results and achievements. For each individual job application, it is essential your CV has been tailored and presented in conjunction with the job to which you have applied for. What you mention on your CV should therefore be consistent, honest and relevant to the role; it should be clearly stated where, how and to what degree of added value you contributed to high profile projects – do not take the approach that one CV, will automatically cover all the jobs you are applying for!
Recruitment campaigns overseeing sectors such as office, marketing, retail or finance, hiring managers are driven by results. It is important to be recognised for hard work and consistently outperforming and overachieving. For example, if you exceeded your target as a sales manager, you should state that target in amount or percentage form, so that you can be credited for your working achievements. Relevant educational certificates should also be highlighted – particularly those that the selection criteria lists as essential or desirable.
The outline and structure of your CV should always appear presentable, consistent, with only one font type being used. Using bullet points and bold type for headings, helping to clearly define and clarify the skills and experience you possess which makes it ideal for the recruiters spending their time to review your suitability. It should also quickly capture a hiring manager’s interest by looking, feeling and reading well. Inaccurate personal information, missing links in your CV or inconsistencies in terms of responsibilities held or achievements, will be an embarrassment to yourself and the hiring manager who took the time to invite you for interview. The style of writing and language used in your CV should be industry orientated while not containing excessive slang, and formatting of your CV should enable it to be easily opened. In the case of the employer receiving the CV and having to download software to access it, is an immediate turnoff.
Webrecruit Ireland’s recruitment experts would always urge you to have a focused and continually evolving CV, showing commitment and capability for your given field. As soon as it is opened, it should give the recruiter good reasons to want to interview you. This is the core purpose of a CV but we must remember, when you get the invite to interview it’s the details in your CV that will be explored and discussed, hence they must be accurate and you must be able to discuss it in greater depth.