When it comes to sending in your CV, it’s easy to distinguish the difference between one that has had plenty of time and effort put into it and one that has been thrown together just for the sake of it. Your CV is arguably one of the most important tools to help you gain employment, so it’s vital that you prepare it well and don’t fall into the trap of using a “one size fits all” approach.
Often, the employer who is reading through CVs won’t spend more than 20 seconds on most. This is because after reading through resumes all day, they become accustomed to skim reading them. This means that your CV needs to make a good first impression and quickly show the reader that you have the skills required for their vacancy.
To do this, you need to read the job advert carefully to make sure that you know how to present your skills in a way that will show the reader that you’re the right match for the job. There are a few key skills you can use here to make sure you get it right:
Employers will often attempt to cross reference the main skills they’re recruiting for with your CV to see if you possess the relevant talents they need. To take advantage of this, be sure to carefully read through the job description and highlight any relevant keywords. For example take a look at the highlighted words in this job description:
We are looking for JIB Electricians for upcoming industrial work in Manchester. Duties will include cabling, terminating and general industrial installation. The ideal candidate must also possess a valid JIB card.
The ideal CV would start like this:
I am an experienced JIB approved Electrician with a wealth of experience in performing industrial installations. My duties in previous projects have included LVL cabling, terminating and installation on projects across the North West. I am also in possession of JIB, CSCS and IPAF cards/certifications.
Don’t use the same CV for every vacancy
One of the most common things contractors tend to do is re-use a CV that has worked to find them a job in the past. However, using the same CV every time won’t always result in a positive result. After reading through CVs all day, employers quickly gather the skill to be able to spot a tailored CV from a copy and pasted one.
Of course, creating a new CV for every single vacancy you apply for takes time. However, there are ways you can work around this. We recommend creating a single “master version” which will serve as the foundation for each CV. Create a generalised version which lists all of your previous experience.
Every time you go to apply for a new job, you can use your word-matching skills to tweak your master version specifically to the role you’re applying for, giving you an edge over other potential candidates and a greater chance of making it through to the interview phase.
While it’s not guaranteed to find you success every time, it’s well worth your time to take advantage of these simple tips to help aid you in your job hunt. For more career advice, including more CV tips and interview hints, be sure to take a look at our other articles in the Knowledge Hub.