1. KEEP IT SHORT AND SWEET
Your CV shouldn’t be any more than 2 pages of A4 paper. Recruiters don’t want to read your life story, they want to see at a glance that you’re an interesting candidate they can interview. Stay punchy and to the point and save some details for when you meet face-to-face.
2. DON’T SEND THE SAME CV TWICE
Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but take time to tailor your CV for each role you apply for. Research the company and the job advert so you can work out exactly the skills and experience you should highlight. It’s a little bit of effort that can make a big difference.
3. FILL IN THE GAPS
Being out of work isn’t a problem, you just have to put a positive spin on it. If you’ve got gaps in your work experience, talk about the other things you did in that time – courses, volunteering, fundraising, team sports. Shout about the good!
4. HONESTY’S THE BEST POLICY
Lying on your CV is a big no-no. The last thing you want is to start a new job and then lose it for lying about your experience or background. It will make for an awkward interview too if you get asked a question you can’t answer.
5. POWER UP
It’s easy to get sucked into writing down standard statements like ‘led a team’, but throw to in some added insight and tell people what the result was, such as ‘led a team to league promotion in the first season’.
6. CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK AGAIN
You’ve put in a lot of effort to get your CV where you want it, so make sure you double check it for spelling errors (or get a friend or mentor to take a look for you). Everybody makes mistakes, but make sure you catch yours before you send yourself out for the roles you want.
7. STAY POSITIVE
Don’t be disheartened if your CV doesn’t always make it to the top of the pile. If you don’t succeed, ask for advice and feedback from others to help get your job search back on track. Or consider joining the Drive Forward programme and make some momentum for your future!