Job Search: Dust off your CV

Anytime is a good time to look for your next career move and to dust off your CV if you haven’t got one ready. Whilst business may have slowed down, companies will still need to hire so being proactive now might get you to the front of the queue.

Where to start?

A good place would be with your own Personal Marketing Plan, which will help you show yourself in the most attractive light to prospective employers, and the search and selection recruitment firms.

There are several steps within this and ideally you should try to complete each before you start actively looking for a new role. Now is a good time to kick start your search for your next executive role and career move. You can do this by reviewing what you have done so far, updating your plan and then taking action by implementing it. Your action plan should include networking, social media, job sites and the direct contacting of recruitment firms and employers.

Standing out from the crowd

There is a good choice of candidates for many roles, particularly where the employer cannot find or attract a ‘ready made’ candidate from a competitor, or doesn’t want one. If this is the case how do you make yourself and your application stand out? Particularly as research suggests that candidates' CV's have just ten seconds to impress the recruiter, with more than 70% of CVs being discarded before they have read to the end of page one!

Firstly, it is not about being loud, brash, aggressive or colourful – you do after all want to be remembered for your skills and experience rather than the images on your CV! It is more about making your application stand out and presenting the right information to ensure that the employer is aware of your skills relevant to his vacancy.

We get many CV’s for roles that seem to bear no relation to the vacancy on offer; although the candidates say in their covering letter that they have experience of a sector there is no mention of it in their CV. Automated systems/databases read and store CV’s, not covering letters, and when asked to find key words and phrases they won’t find what is not there. Similarly, if your CV is read by a person they are looking for keywords, phrases, companies and sectors; again, if it is not there they can’t read it!

The answer? Rewrite your CV for every job you apply for including information that is relevant to the role and the employer. How long does it take to do this? Minutes. Explain on your CV what the companies did that you worked for, the sectors they were in, who their customers were and what part you played in the success of the company. If they ask for candidates with experience of the AMP cycle for example, and you have this, make sure the employer knows rather than assuming that they know.

Simple? Certainly. A bit of work on your part? Certainly. Effective? Certainly.

Check out our Career Guides:

Five Ways to Improve Your CV
Preparing My CV
Why doesn’t my CV Fit?
My Personal Marketing Plan