March 14, 2014 9.15 am This story is over 92 months old

Three top tips for your CV

Get that job: With competition being so fierce for jobs, the importance of getting your CV or job application to stand out is now more crucial than ever, writes David Elworthy.

New research shows that unemployment is on the decrease, job opportunities are increasing and the uptake of apprenticeships is set to double by 2019. However, it is harder to secure employment now than in the past five years.

With competition being so fierce for jobs, the importance of getting your CV or job application to stand out is now more crucial than ever.

Here are 3 simple tips to help you rethink the way you sell your abilities to a potential employer, and to give yourself a fighting chance of getting that dream job!

Remember a CV is more than a just list of where you have worked

A CV is more than a timeline of previous workplaces and roles; employers also want to hear what you did well and how the company benefited. This can be as simple as introducing a new system that improved productivity or completing tasks ahead of schedule. Consider:

  • What did you do really well in your previous roles?
  • What did you have to do to accomplish it?
  • How did the organisation benefit from the result (i.e. measurable results)?

You could also take a broader look at your daily activities. You may see training a new employee on your team as a simple favour or even a regular task, but you could list this as an achievement by saying you “served as a mentor to bring a new employee up to speed in less than three months”.

Again, it’s all about demonstrating value delivered to a past employer through measurable results and specific examples.

Be more specific with your skills

Many job applicants still take a broad brush approach to outlining their skill set without considering whether they are aligned to the position description/job advertisement.

For example, rather than simply listing “time management skills”, you may want to expand and include further context around the statement, such as “ability to prioritise tasks and meet agreed deadlines” or “experienced in producing high volume, quality output within tight time frames”. Your achievements can help act as evidence to support this. Ensure you tailor your CV to every job application to give yourself the best chance.

Spelling and grammar

Do not underestimate what a negative impact poor spelling and grammar can have. In a recent poll Black Coffee Blog undertook, it revealed that 65% of those surveyed felt that poor spelling and grammar was “the biggest turn off to see on a candidate’s CV”. This has been echoed in other surveys undertaken. Poor spelling, grammar and formatting accounted for over 50% of recruiters viewing a CV in a negative light.

CV’s and interviews are all about making a good first impression, so make sure your CV represents you in the best possible light. Don’t make it easy for employers to place your CV in the “no pile”.

Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and a “One Size CV” does not fit all jobs!

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David Elworthy is a Business Advisor at Lagat Training & Recruitment, a Lincoln based firm that has been helping city businesses up-skill their staff for over 25 years. David joined Lagat from David Lloyd Leisure. He specialises in work-based learning programmes and apprenticeship recruitment.