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When thinking about your CV it could be useful to think of yourself as a product and your CV as your marketing tool or your sales pitch for that vacancy and it represents you and how you market yourself so it pays to take the time to get it right and each time you are applying for a vacancy, to tailor make your marketing to that particular vacancy.  A hiring manager may take 10-15 seconds to initially skim through your CV to see if you have the relevant experience before delving in deeper once they have disregarded those CV’s that are not suitable. Read our Top tips below to give you that edge this year when applying for roles.

1. Think about the type of role you want or the type of industry you want to work in. Look through adverts and highlight some of the ones that sound interesting and you would like to apply for.

2. Read adverts carefully and if available the job descriptions. Sometimes this can be a challenge, many companies have a lot of jargon so sometimes it is worth going through the job description and highlighting the skills or experience actually needed rather than getting too bogged down with the detail, this will give you an idea of what the client is looking for and what they want to see in your CV in order for you to get through to interview stage. If you don’t have any of these skills or experience and you haven’t highlighted them on your CV, you are less likely to get through the initial shortlisting of CVs.

3. Adjusting your CV

If you have the skills or experience needed make sure you have added them to your CV, if you don’t have them don’t make it up, the interviewer will question you on that experience especially if they need it.  Research the company, what industry are they in, do you have any experience in that industry or with any of their competitors or the products or services they offer? If so, is it listed on your CV? Make sure all the relevant experience they are looking for is highlighted on your cv and you have covered everything off that they are looking for. If you don’t have the experience, think about what transferable skills you have that you could use as an example to bridge that gap.

4. Clear and concise

Is your CV laid out in a clear and concise way that allows a hiring manager to skim through quickly and easily? Can they clearly see what roles you have had and how many years’ experience? Do you define what industry those companies are that you have worked in? (especially if they are not well known or local).

5. Be your own cheerleader

List your accomplishments and what you have achieved? Have you saved your company money, turned around underperforming departments, decreased attrition rates, increased sales? Won any awards?

6. Bullet Points

Use bullet points and bold text to highlight your skills and experience, it’s a really quick and easy way for your CV to be evaluated more effectively.

7. Fonts

Don’t be too flashy with fonts and text sizes, they could be distracting from the actual detail. Using Capitals, bold or italics, indents etc can help highlight certain information.

8. Formatting

Keep the format the same throughout, dates, company names etc, again it will be less distracting from the actual information.

9. Upskill Yourself

If there are roles you are interested in and you are not hitting the mark or getting to interview stage, think about how you can get that experience. Udemy is a great website offering online training for very low costs and could easily give you some broad experience in software packages or skills that could make you more marketable to employers.

And by just tweaking your application and taking the time to make it relevant for the vacancy and highlighting your skills you will increase your chances of successfully getting through to the next round! Good luck.

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