Generally speaking, Irish people are not big into bragging or showing off. A lot of us don’t talk about how great we are doing in our jobs, and some of us even play down our achievements. And that may be why so many of us struggle with writing our Curriculum Vitae (CV). If you don’t sell yourself to recruitment agencies or employers, then no one else is going to.
Your CV is your best sales tool. It’s the very first introduction to you, your experience and what you can offer to the job you’ve applied for.
Rather than thinking of your CV as painful and tedious, think of it as your professional brochure. It’s selling you; your work experience, education, skills, and your career objectives. Which is what potential employers are buying.
Your CV needs to get you to the next stage of the hiring process – that might be a phone call, an email or an interview. You need to focus on your key selling points. Highlight what makes you right for the role and what makes you different to everyone else. You need to clearly show what makes you the perfect candidate for this role.
CVs are different in every industry, there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Spend time researching what works well in your industry. Find out what employers are looking for and give it a prominent position on your CV.
Some of the common rules that work across the majority of industries:
– Limit your it to two pages – make sure you are including relevant content and no waffle
– Start strong – your CV needs to stand out. You may be one of hundreds on an employers desk. Put how you can benefit the job or organisation at the beginning.
– Keep it simple – make your it is readable. Focus on what you can do with this role and how you are a good cultural fit for their business.
– Spelling and grammar – use spell checker in Word or Google Docs, or even use Grammarly to make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect.
– Organise your content to that it has a nice flow. Give the most important information at the beginning of your CV.
Now you are focusing your CV like a marketing brochure, you are using it to sell yourself to employers. Ensure that you are making your CV relevant to every job that you apply for. It only takes two minutes to change it for each job, but it could improve your chances of getting to the next stage. And remember most people are time poor, so keep it sharp and easy to read. Make it easy for the reader and you will have a lot more success.