Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
07 Jan 2014

How to get your CV in order

07 Jan 2014 • by Changeboard Team

Make sure your CV is specific

Your CV is essentially a marketing tool to assist you in getting an interview so you need to ‘sell’ yourself. Being specific and giving examples throughout is the most effective way of doing this. When employers look at your CV, they need to know exactly what you have achieved in your previous roles and how this is relevant for the job you are applying for. So, if you were responsible for driving growth or cutting costs in a business, say exactly how you did it and go into specifics on the results achieved. From an HR perspective, costs and commercials in a CV are of particular interest to hiring managers.

It is also important to include exact dates you have held roles for, all the different positions you have held within the same company, exposure to different markets and who your internal and/or external stakeholders are. Detailing relevant projects or initiatives you have been involved in alongside your business-as-usual role will also add significant value to a CV. Throughout, you will need to implicitly explain how each point is relevant.

Concentrate on what makes you stand out

Throughout your CV, you also need to demonstrate what it is about you that makes you stand out. You will be competing for the top roles with other candidates from very similar work backgrounds. What have you done that shows initiative or flexibility? What projects have you been involved with? Describe the extra responsibility you had, what you have learned and what skills have been developed.

Make every word count

You don’t have much time to impress with your CV – employers tend to scan rather than read them. Consequently, it needs to be succinct and to-the-point – no one wants to read a novel. Crucially, it needs to show that you have what it takes to be successful in your chosen career. The best CVs are typically made up of education and work experience.

Avoid typos and errors

Although this may sound obvious, you would be surprised how many CVs contain spelling mistakes and other basic grammatical errors. Although this may not be the end of the world, they are avoidable and imply carelessness – not an impression anyone would want to give to a potential employer.

Make sure your CV is presented professionally

We have noticed an increasing tendency for candidates to ‘jazz’ up their CVs up by including various additional visual elements, such as photographs of themselves, fancy fonts and other colourful graphical representations. While some people may think this will make their CVs stand out, what it really does is imply style over substance. When employers look at your CV, they want to know about your past achievements and why you are appropriate for their role.