Five ways to improve your CV

We get to see hundreds of CV’s and Profiles of candidates and whilst many are ‘good’ in that we can at least see and understand what they do, many are pretty poor and most could do with being made fit for purpose! You don’t want the first impression that your CV makes to be its last, so it’s worth a little effort to make sure it is not discarded too easily or remembered for the wrong reason. Don’t forget that the only reason for your CV is to get you an interview…

It is surprisingly easy to update and improve your CV in five easy steps:

One: Banish the buzzwords

Enthusiastic, focused, passionate, dynamic, ambitious, successful, natural leader…you may think that you are being original by using these words to describe yourself but, believe me, when everyone includes these words on their CV they are no longer stand out traits.

Two: Check your grammar

In our connected, automated world it is easy to rely on your computer to spell-check and grammar check your CV. Don’t. Make sure you check it and get someone else to check it also. Words like form, manger, roll and fro are proper words but they are not the same as from, manager, role and for! If left in your CV they make you look at best lazy and at worst, very poor at writing.

Three: Put your contact details at the top of page one

Most CVs are read on a screen rather than printed and there is nothing worse than hunting around for your contact details; also, if it is being read by software in order to place it on a database then if it can’t ‘read’ it, your details won’t appear on their system.

Amazingly, at least 5% of the CV’s we receive have no contact details on them whatsoever, which makes it very hard to contact you: if we can be bothered we could try and find your original email with them on. So please make sure the details of who you are and how to contact you are prominently displayed, preferably at the top of the first page.

Four: Tell them what your employer does

There are one million companies in the UK and, believe it or not, we don’t know what all of them do! If you can tell us what your employer does, what sector it is in and how big it is that would be enormously helpful, especially where the client wants someone from the same, or a similar, sector.

Five: Keep it simple - avoid messy layouts

Boxes, headings, side bars, graphics and different fonts and sizes may look good but they are hard to read and analyse: I am sure you would rather we focused on your experience instead of marvelling at your splendid document. Granted, if you are an Architect, Interior Designer or Artist we’ll let you off!