4 October

Of course your CV and the experience that you have need to fit the position to which you’re applying – but the key elements that distinguish the best CVs from the rest are specificity and ease of reading. Six key things to remember:

1) Keep it salient. The most relevant points should always be at the top. Prioritise whatever points your research tells you the hiring manager will most want to read.

2) Make your information application-specific. There’s only so much information you can fit on your CV. So only bother highlighting the strengths that are most appropriate to the specific opportunity/role.

3) Be succinct and clear. Lay out and space information neatly. If visuals aren’t your strong point, ask a design-savvy friend to help you out. Don’t go smaller than a 10-point font and keep the CV to two pages.

4) Back. Up. Everything. Evidence of what you’ve done in your working life is so important. No matter how intangible your achievements may seem, results and data can always be found to provide evidence for your success and ability.

5) Get the basics right. If your CV includes a single spelling mistake, typo or error, you can kiss the job goodbye. If your contact details aren’t correct, how can a recruiter invite you to interview?

6) Never stop improving your CV. It’s a living, breathing document that needs constant maintenance and upgrading. Capturing your most recent accomplishments is crucial – they are usually your most impressive.

An irresistible CV is one that is concise and explains a person’s skills, achievements and specialisms within five seconds. Pick a friend who you can trust to provide an objective opinion. Tell them they have five seconds to read your CV. Once they’ve done so, ask them about the things they managed to internalise in that time. If their answer is not your most important skills, achievements and specialisms, then you need to rinse and repeat the above steps.

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