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Did you know that recruiters and hiring managers often spend around 6 to 10 seconds initially scanning a CV to decide if a candidate is a potential fit for the role?
That's why it is absolutely crucial that your CV makes a good first impression.
As you embark on your search for your new permanent, interim or contract role, it’s crucial you don’t forget some fundamental factors that many overlook when sending off their CV.
Some tips may seem basic but you’ll be surprised at how many even the most experienced communications and marketing professionals forget when sharing their CV with our team at VMA GROUP.
Personal Profiles Make a Big Difference
A CV should contain some form of introduction/personal profile to give the hiring manager or recruiter an insight into who you are as a part, what your key skills are, and what you’re looking for in your next role. It’s surprising how many people disregard this aspect of their CV, but when a company receives a huge number of applications for every role, someone as simple as an engaging personal profile can be the key to securing an initial call or interview.
Use Quantifiable Achievements To Demonstrate Your Achievements
We advise that your most recent roles on your CV should be broken down into ‘responsibilities’ and ‘achievements’. Within your achievements section, it’s important to include quantifiable evidence to demonstrate any successes that you played a part in. This is a fundamental way to set you apart from the competition.
For example: instead of saying “created social media content to increase engagement,” say “increased social media engagement by 45% through the creation of targeted content, resulting in a 25% growth in followers just 3 months.” It creates a much clearer picture of your capabilities and potential!
Tailor Your CV to Each Role You Apply For
Without tailoring your CV for each specific role you go for, you may end up missing out on key pieces of experience that could secure you an interview. Take the time to highlight your most relevant skills, experiences and qualifications that match up with the key responsibilities mentioned in the job description.
Interests Can Be Interesting
While this is subjective, from our experience, we’d advise you include a small ‘interests’ section at the end of your CV to add a little more personality to your application. Not only can this be an icebreaker at an interview, but can lead to you finding common ground or mutual interests with a hiring manager. For example, a recent candidate of ours included their passion for horse riding in their interests section. This just so happened to be the interviewer’s favourite hobby, which led to a 10 minute conversation, building rapport before diving deeper into the role and their experience.
Include Recent Courses/Personal Development You Have Undertaken
Our latest survey of over 650 internal communications professionals shows that less than 50% have been on a training course in the last 12 months. If you’re doing extra-curricular work and attending courses to further your knowledge then I’d certainly recommend adding this onto your qualifications or interests section as it’ll set you apart from the majority that don’t.
Don’t Forget Your Proofreading Glasses
Typos and spelling mistakes are all too common in CVs, and are a foolproof way of putting a hiring manager off. While working in the communications industry we tend to see this less, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen! We’d always advise asking someone else to proofread your CV before you share it, just to be on the safe side.
When roles have a huge amount of applications, hiring managers will even reject CVs if programmes such as ‘SharePoint’ are written with a lower case ‘p’ in the middle. Attention to detail is crucial!
Presentation is Key
A polished and cohesive design is important to allow the reader to quickly absorb the information. Although presentation may seem minor, if it’s a challenge to find information, it could make the hiring manager think their reading the CV of an unorganised candidate. Here’s some key pointers to ensure this doesn’t happen:
Organise your CV into clear and distinct section, with up to date contact details at the top of the page.
Choose a clean and professional font to use throughout your CV, maintain consistent spacing between sections, and use appropriate font sizes to distinguish headings and body text.
Use bullet points to emphasise key information in each section, keeping your achievements and responsibilities concise.
Present your work experience and education in reverse chronological order (starting with the most recent), clearly outlining the job title, company name, location and dates of employment for each work experience listed.