Friday, July 12th, 2019
A strong CV can not only make the difference when it comes to getting a job, it can be a deciding factor in whether or not you even get an interview.
When you send off your application, your CV has just a few seconds to stand out from the crowd before probably being lost among a sea of other applicants.
Here are some CV do’s and don’ts, CV hacks and instant wins that together add up to give you our top CV writing secrets.
CV do’s and don’ts
Do give your CV a logical structure, with separate sections for basic contact details, education, career history and outside interests. Our CV Builder can help you make sure you’ve covered everything you need to mention.
Don’t go into too much detail. Make sure the important points are mentioned but remember you can provide more background in your interview – and don’t go over one or two sides of A4 unless you’re sure it’s appropriate to do so.
Do tweak your CV for each role you apply for – but don’t spend more time than you need to on each new version!
Do put your most relevant info up top so interviewers can find it easily. Don’t neglect the basics like your name and contact details though, as you want recruiters to be able to contact you easily.
These three CV hacks can help you to say what you want to say, without cluttering the page:
- Use a narrow/oval font. The letters are narrower than in a typeface based on circular characters and you’ll fit more words on a line.
- White space makes text more readable. It’s better to make your text slightly smaller if it means you can miss a line between sections or use 1.5x line spacing.
- Stick to a single font (or at most, a second font just for titles and subheadings). Any more than that starts to confuse the eye.
Remember, you want your key information to be easy to find and easy to read, so interviewers can cast their eye over your CV in just a few seconds and notice what you want them to notice.
CV instant wins
Some tweaks can have a big impact on your CV in literally just a few seconds – these are our CV instant wins:
- Change the font to something modern, elegant and easy to read on-screen and in print. Remember the tip from above about font widths.
- A border usually isn’t necessary but a horizontal line can help to mark the divide between different sections. Larger titles help to draw the eye too.
- If you’re just a few words over a single page but can’t find anything to remove, very slightly reduce your character spacing, line spacing or margins to make it fit!
Don’t take it to extremes – it’s all about finding balance and making the page look good overall – but with these top CV writing secrets and the help of our CV Builder, you can be sure of making the right first impression.
Friday, July 5th, 2019
It’s not easy to get a job with no work experience, but we all have to start somewhere and many employers recognise that fact.
However, that doesn’t mean you can just walk in and expect to be offered a job. You’ll still need to make it through the recruitment and interview process.
So what can you do to help your CV look less empty when you apply for a job without work experience? Here are our top tips.
1. Focus on other areas
This is the most obvious solution – if you don’t have relevant work experience, don’t try to make it look like you do.
You can prioritise other parts of your CV, such as relevant education or qualifications, or even any outside interests, hobbies and pastimes that give you knowledge of the role you’re applying for.
Don’t be afraid to put your career history at the bottom of your CV instead of at the top, if it’s not as relevant as some of those other areas. Look to our CV Builder if you need help deciding which sections to include and in what order.
2. Transferable skills
A lot of work experience comes in the form of transferable skills, sometimes called ‘soft skills’.
These are things like teamwork, flexible thinking, adaptability and capability in a crisis, and they’re the kinds of characteristics that all employers value, so don’t neglect them.
Again, give careful thought to the order of the information on your CV – if you have relevant transferable skills, give them priority, even if they were learned as part of a job in a completely different industry or sector.
3. Give more detail
If you don’t have many individual examples of past experience to list, give some extra background detail about each one to fill the space.
Consider your wording carefully – it shouldn’t just be filler – and keep it to brief bullet points to put your point across in as punchy a way as possible.
Remember, you’re aiming to give the interviewer an at-a-glance guide to the things you want to discuss in your interview, so keep it relevant to the role but bring in your best attributes from across the board at the same time.
4. Mention past wins
If you’ve seen major success in a role that was completely different to the one you’re now trying to get, it’s still worth mentioning.
At the end of the day, success is success and employers will often value a good business head or a commitment to delivering on a project, even if your only examples of this are ‘irrelevant’ on the surface.
Make sure you highlight how this relates to your current application – and if possible, quantify your success in terms of how much it was worth to your employer or the return on investment you achieved, as money always talks too.
5. Make a statement
If you have nothing else you can use to fill your CV, consider making a short personal statement. This is traditionally not particularly common in the UK but it’s on the increase.
A brief statement can allow you to make clear that you have passion and enthusiasm for the role you’re applying for, and that you will be quick to learn on the job.
Just make sure to be specific in what you say – vague promises to work hard don’t mean much compared with, for instance, giving a specific example of when you have thrived out of your comfort zone in the past as proof that you can and will adapt quickly. Our links, tips and tricks can help provide some more insight and prepare you for the next step – the interview!