10 tips on how to create a CV to get the job you want
How do you land the job of your dreams?
In the modern workplace there is no room for anything other than the exceptional, which is why the competition is tougher than ever to land your dream job. So what does it take to win that competition? You may have a strong profile and posses strong interview skills, but to even reach that stage you need to have a great CV that can make sure you get the interview.
Here is how to stand above your competition in terms of creating an impressive CV:
1. Show an understanding of the company and position
Tailor your CV and cover letter to the individual company; emphasize aspects that are directly related to the position you are applying for. Write a short description of your relevant professional skills and what value you can add to the company. Make sure to highlight aspects of your profile that the company is looking for in the job description and that match the company culture to show that you are suitable for the position.
2. Highlight relevant achievements
Achievements are your best assets. Employers look for high achievers and they will be impressed by results. Your CV is where you have the chance to highlight your best achievements. Try and add as measurable results and concrete numbers as possible. When listing achievements it is important that you also explain the impact the achievements had to show the improvements you implemented.
3. The importance of experience
Proven work experience is key. A good education and high grades are not enough, you need work experience. A 2013 Randstad Work monitor survey reported that 84% of employers rated experience as more important than education and this still remains valid today. If you don’t have experience with a similar role or relevant industry experience, illustrate how other experience you have gained can be relevant for the position. If you just graduated from school and have no work experience, you might have to do an internship to get some experience, before applying to full time positions.
4. Why are you the right candidate?
The key here is to highlight how you can contribute to the company’s future growth and success. The focus should be on how hiring you will benefit the company not how it will benefit you. Try to back up your claims with performance, results and experience from previous roles. This gives the employer a better understanding of what you can bring to the table if hired.
5. Show initiative
Adding extracurricular activities, internships, management of a project in a fraternity, volunteer work, skills you have acquired in your spare time etc. all counts: it shows initiative, a strong work ethic, a desire to make a difference and willingness to learn. Focus on relevant achievements and results as well as skills you have acquired that are not present or reflected in your professional work experience.
6. The personal aspect
When applying for a position try and show the person behind the CV. Give an indication of your personality and values. Also express your passion for that particular area of business and company, this gives your CV a personal aspect. Include hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your spare time. Many places today give personality just as much value as skill set and experience.
7. The cover letter
A good way to include your skills from past experience is the cover letter. A proper, well-written cover letter will give the employer more insight to you as a person, what you know about the specific position and company and what your motivation to apply is. This is where you can really brand yourself and your values. Remember to tailor your cover letter to the specific company and position.
8. Sell yourself
Do not forget that you are allowed to brag when it comes to your CV. You should never lie or inflate numbers, but be sure to highlight all impressive achievements, and do not be too modest. Did you bring some large clients on board at your last job? Did you break any internal performance records? Did you achieve any rewards or recognitions? Include all achievements and sell yourself.
9. Less is more
Additionally, an important factor in creating an impressive CV is to know that not all achievements are relevant. You do not want to give the impression that you are just trying to fill your application with irrelevant things in order for it to look like more. Often less is more. The person going through your skills and experience section will look for the skills and experience you have that matches what they need in their organization.
10. Simple structure
Most people hiring initially scan CVs and nowadays many are often read on smaller devices as a smart phone or other gadgets. This means no essay style CV. Be creative and come up with something that will capture and hold their attention, something short but efficient. Furthermore, use of bullet points are a good way to structure your CV, this makes it easy for the employer to see the highlights. Note that white space on your CV is good so the eyes can find rest. Straight to the point is essential here.