How To Get Your CV Noticed
When applying for roles in today’s jobs market, it’s worth your while to put yourself in the shoes of the Hiring Manager or Recruiter you’re dealing with. After all, they are the first port of call your CV has to pass to make it to the ever-important interview! However, there is often a disconnect between what people include in their CVs and what is being looked for. So how do you get your CV noticed?
Hiring Managers and Recruiters receive hundreds of CVs per day and research has shown they both spend an average of 7 seconds per CV, so it’s important to make an impression and make it quickly! Having a basic understanding of how CVs are reviewed and what is being looked for will give you an advantage when it comes to writing one effectively.
Remove the “fluff” recruiters skip through to get to the heart of your CV: your actual work. Your summary, objectives and hobbies tend to be less crucial than your title, responsibilities and achievements when deciding whether you’d be a good fit for the role.
At Recruitment By Aphex we see our fair share of CVs, so we’ve put together a handy list of tips to help your CV get noticed.
Tailor Your CV / Pay Attention To The Job Spec:
The days of sending a generic CV are out. You need to be able to stand out and make the connection that lands an interview from the first impression.
Many organisations have begun using automation software to screen the CVs they receive, so it’s important to use the actual keywords and requirements from the job spec in your CV. When applying for a role, pay attention to what the job description actually says they’re looking for – everything from the purpose to the qualifications and experiences required. What they’ve put down is what they’re looking for, so make sure your CV reflects that you have the skills necessary to do the job.
Check Spelling Mistakes and Errors:
From experience, many CVs are not properly checked for basic errors in spelling and grammar, while others use unprofessional fonts, graphics and are inconsistent in their formatting of the information. Basic spelling and grammar errors are a red flag to any Hiring Manager or Recruiter who is looking for attention to detail.
Download a tool like Grammarly and install it on your browser, it’s also worth running the spell-check tool on Word, etc one final time before hitting save and send!
Show Your Transferable Skills:
Are there keys programs in your role? Be sure to include them in your CV! This could be as simple as MS Office or more advanced programs specialised to your industry and position. Ensure to mention any other software skills, programs, operating systems or databases you’re familiar with (as long as they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for!)
Which sounds more impressive to a Recruiter or Hiring Manager – that you improved productivity and revenue or that you improved productivity by 20% by bringing in an employee wellness programme which in turn increased revenue by over 50% and brought in a turnover of an extra €1 million for the company.
You’d probably say the second one! Not only does it demonstrate your skills and accomplishments but it shows the depth of your success with facts.
Keep track of any stats and quantifiable milestones throughout your career so you can bring them up if needed.
Keep Personable Details To A Minimum:
Consider your CV your professional achievements story – not your life story! You don’t need to include any non-relevant information for the sake of it. Make sure everything you include on your CV is relevant to the role you’re applying for and shows your fit through your skills and experience.
Form An Orderly Queue:
When documenting your experience, start at your current role and work your way back to show the skills you’ve gained. A recruiter or hiring manager doesn’t want to have to skip between pages trying to figure out where you’re going with this.
Even though you might be tempted to over-inflate your previous achievements or experience on your CV, you should always stick to the truth. At some point, you will get found out. Whether this will be through an obvious lack of experience in your interview, through your references not realising your embellishments and not going along with them or being unable to deliver what’s expected of you by the employer. Sell yourself through your CV but don’t oversell!
Chances are when you’re applying for a role, you’re competing with hundreds of other CVs. It can be easy to think by adding fancy graphics or images you’ll make yours stand out – but its actually the opposite! These may make your CV hard to download or open or worse hard to read the information.
Use bullet points and clear heading to separate your experiences and sections of your CV and keep it to a logical order (see point above) with to the point sentences (making it easy to skim-read.)
Providing a pleasant reading experience and reflecting the recruiter’s needs in your CV will hold their attention and create a perfect first impression.
You don’t need to go into the reasons why you left positions in your CV – if you’re applying for a new role it generally means you’re unhappy about something in your current one, but you don’t need to go into detail why.
Always keep the tone positive in your CV (and beyond!) It never bodes well to bad-mouth an ex-employer or colleague.
Include Contact Details:
Another more common than you think mistake – your CV could be perfect and you could be the clear best choice for a role, but it doesn’t matter if a potential employer can’t contact you. Always include your phone number and an email address and make sure your email address is professional.
Keep It Updated:
Lastly, even when you’re happily in employment, make sure you always update your CV on a regular basis. It’s easy to forget your achievements and day-to-day activities if you have to think back to years ago.
A simple mistake many make is forgetting to document all the new skills and experiences you’ve learned throughout your career are they happen. So, whenever you learn a new skill or software remember to update both your CV and your LinkedIn profile by adding your knowledge and including the keywords which will show up on algorithms!
The first thing recruiters will look at is your most recent role as it’s the best way to see your current capabilities so spend plenty of time writing this section and keep it up to date.
Providing just one bad CV to a client can ruin a recruiter’s reputation, so even the smallest of inconsistencies can deter them from shortlisting you. Glaring spelling and grammar mistakes will obviously be red flags, but they will also be on the lookout for any gaps in employment, or facts that just don’t add up.
Essentially, recruiters just want to find the candidate who matches their client’s brief as closely as possible – it’s that simple. Ultimately, if you can show them that you have the skills and experience they are looking for, then you stand a good chance of having your CV noticed and being selected. Keep your CV formatting clear and allow for the keywords and experiences to jump out upon a skim-read and you’ll see plenty of interviews (and offers!) coming your way.