Written by Matthew Neethling
In recruitment, having a CV that stands out is the most important part in the job seeking process. Having to go job hunting is a difficult and strenuous process; yet ensuring that you CV is “Pimped out” goes a long way in getting you a seat in front of the recruitment officer or HR professional.
There are some important facts about CV writing that candidates can learn from, and the pitfalls that make or break your CV.
Recruitment officers, HR managers and Line managers speed read your CV; it takes them about 5 – 10 seconds to screen your CV and to highlight skills and past experiences that is required in a vacancy that needs to be filled.
This is why having all the right information on a CV is vital and the first stepping stone to getting an audience with the relevant consultant or manager.
Important information 1.
Ensure that all your skills and computer programs that you have worked on and have experience on is in your CV. If you forget to add a certain skill this could mean make or break for your CV when the screening process takes place. As certain vacancies require certain skills, and if that certain skill is not on your CV it will not make it past the screening process for that specific role.
Important Information 2.
Detailed information is better than none. Often we receive CV’s with a candidate that has only added his / her job titles but no relevant duties or responsibilities. Always ensure that you add all your past duties and responsibilities and the extent of those duties.
Important Information 3.
Achievements, Achievements, Achievements!!!
This is a part that a lot of people don’t utilize in their CV’s. When your CV is being screened, people want to know how you have made a difference in your current role or company. Being able to highlight two or three work related achievements helps your CV to stand out from other candidates who are also applying for this role. Companies like to know what a candidate is made of, and by adding some achievements it shows them that not only did you go to work to do your job, you also went above and beyond the call of duty. If you have implemented system (that saves the company time and money), won awards or grown a sales portfolio by double, these are important selling points that you want people to know about.
Important Information 4.
References. This is very important, when adding references to your CV, only add the people that you would like to be contacted. If you add your current line manager that means that you are happy with the consultant or manager to contact them, and this could put your job in jeopardy (the consultants would always ask if they can contact a certain manager on your references, but not all consultants will confirm this information). Also ensure that the right person to speak to has been added along with the correct contact details.
Cover letters is a dying method. When you send your CV to companies and consultants, a lot of your efforts in writing a eye catching cover letter gets wasted. People no longer read cover letters as the important information is in your CV. Rather spent your efforts in ensuring that your CV highlights and sells your skills. If you do feel that you would like to add an introduction, you can add a small motivational introduction in the beginning of your CV. Not more than three to four lines stating why you would like to meet with the manager or consultant.
When your CV is typed and ready, ensure that when you apply for job roles on the internet and social media that your skill set is relevant to the role being advertised. We understand that the market is tough and we will always try our best to help, but applying for roles that has nothing to do with your field create a bad impression on your ability to follow the process. If you want to send your CV to an agency or company, then go to their website and email your CV through via a specific consultant or a careers portal. This will allow them to get your CV and register your information onto their system.
End of the day your main focus is to ensure a meeting with the consultant or manager, your CV is the first step to ensuring this meeting where you can start selling your skillset, personal branding and personality.
Wishing you all the best of luck in your job search.