For our latest recruitment insight blog, Beth Lindsay shares five pieces of advice on best practice and how to maximise your CV.
How long should my CV be?
Keep your CV concise and to the point. It should be no more than two pages of A4.
Focus on your recent and most relevant experience and achievements. The employer wants to read a tailored CV focused on transferable experience, skills and achievements.
What is the most common CV mistake you see?
Not sticking to the truth!
If you sway from the facts, you will be found out and this is far more damaging to your chances than spelling mistakes or poor grammar.
While it’s worth running your CV through Grammarly to flag any errors, it’s crucial to give an accurate account of your career history.
What is the best CV format to use?
You don’t need to try and reinvent the wheel when it comes to your CV, a chronological rundown that highlights the value you’ve added to each position is important.
Jen Gaster explains more on how to make your CV stand out here, where you can also download a free CV template.
Do I need multiple versions of my CV for different jobs?
No two roles you go for will be the same, so it is important to tweak your CV for each opportunity you are applying for.
Use your CV to address the role’s requirements and flag any must haves that are being requested in the job description. Firing the same CV out to hundreds of jobs might seem like a good way of saving time, but actually creating a strong application and tailored CV for your desired role is far more likely to stand you in good stead.
What should I include in my CV?
Your CV should be objective and demonstrate your return on investment in each of your previous roles.
With equality, diversity and inclusion an increasingly important element of organisations’ hiring processes, there is far more of a demand for blind applications – so, don’t include pronouns, images and write your CV in the third person.
“A specialist HR Director with 20 years of experience in the public sector.”
Eliminate anything subjective – “I work brilliantly with a team and also alone” – doesn’t actually mean anything.
Focus on your objective skills and experience and make your CV unidentifiable.
It’s fine to have value add aspects of your life included, for instance, if you serve as a school governor, which shows you have leadership skills outside of the work environment.
Equally, if you have run a marathon it is worth including that as it shows you can commit to a training programme and see things through.