An easy guide to writing the best CV
We all create wonderful user experiences, help people fix their network systems or craft a bug-free clean code every day.
Why do our CV’s not highlight the work we do, the differences we make to our company and clients alike?
As a Recruiter you can imagine we see tonnes of CV’s everyday, and the often quoted ‘6 seconds’ of time spent viewing a CV’ comes into use here. We don’t have all the time in the world, neither does anyone who is reviewing resumes for a position – so whatever you can do to stand out will genuinely make a difference.
I personally spend more than 6 seconds, only if the profile has hooked me in with solid achievements, for example here are two profiles of a Salesperson, have a read and tell me which one you’d most want to talk to:
I’m guessing you’d rather speak to B?
Now I know you aren’t in the field of sales, but I wanted to highlight the differences between generic terms that every CV will contain, and unique figures that stand out and are easily understood – it shows some proof of your hard work. In the field of Technology for example, it’s better to say how you’ve increased company efficiency through daily Scrums, or how you’ve bettered client satisfaction with the App you are maintaining instead of using phrases that could be copied from a job spec.
The next thing is a topic of debate – Interests. Most people doing the same job are going to have a fairly similar background, however I think as people they can differ greatly. Yes, a Curriculum Vitae is a professional profile of yourself, but cultural fit is a big thing in todays hiring decision and we spend so much time at work that your personality is important. It’s also a nice way to stand out from others, it gives us an insight into you and allows us to build a better relationship with you. If you do something great in your spare time like charity work, run marathons, paramedic, life guard, amateur football player, Ghostbuster, cat walker etc.
It can be a good conversation topic at interview and highlight skills that you have strengthened outside of work.
Relevancy – if you’re a C# Developer, we assume you’d like to do this as your next position however if you’re having a change of career, it’s best to include this in your personal profile so we don’t go barking up the wrong tree. Something to note is that if your CV is on a job board, once we download it, it doesn’t tell us your salary expectations, contract/perm or your notice period. It might be worth including this on your CV somewhere, just to avoid those “I’ve got a fantastic Perm role with a salary of £35k” … when you’re on £800/pd Contract.
If you’ve got a career spanning 25+ years and you’re non-C level, most people will focus on the last 10 so don’t feel you need to pad out the first 20 with content, just include key info/words.
If you have any questions or want a free CV review, please get in touch.