How to Improve Your CV to Get That Dream Job
A CV summarises your experience, skills, and qualifications to show a potential employer that you may be the right candidate for the job. It is often the first thing a potential employer sees long before they speak to you or meet you for an interview, so creating an excellent first impression with your CV is essential.
There are some basic rules for CV writing, such as being honest about your qualifications and not leaving gaps that will have employers wondering what you’ve been doing with your time. However, even if you follow these, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll be offered a position.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can give your CV a boost and increase your chances of success. Here are some tips on improving your CV to land your dream job.
How to improve CV: Format & Design
Employers have to sift through many applications when recruiting, which means your CV needs to stand out from the crowd but only in a good way! You want to make it immediately clear that you’re a suitable candidate for the job and make the recruiter’s job easy.
Make sure your CV looks neat, tidy, and easy to read. Avoid unusual layouts or big chunks of text. Instead, use sub-headings and bullet points to break up information and make it more readable at a glance. You can experiment with formatting and colors; however, simplicity is often best at the end of the day.
You must add the keywords from the job advert to your CV. Hiring managers are often looking for specific keywords in a candidate’s resume; if these don’t feature, they’ll assume you’re not suitable for the role.
Sometimes companies even use AI software to scan CVs for the required words before a human even looks at them, so if you don’t include them, you’re likely to miss out on an interview, even if you’re the perfect person for the job.
The Bigger Picture
You want to show a potential employer that the role you’re applying for would be more than just a job for you and that it’s something you’re genuinely interested in or passionate about.
Include any relevant hobbies and interests on your CV, as these will help you stand out. For example, if you are applying to a software engineer position, mentioning hobbies such as creating projects with Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards can only help your CV.
Rather than sending out the same CV to thirty different jobs, you should take the time to tailor your CV for a specific job or number of jobs and send it out in smaller batches, for example, to five different employers at one time.
Being specific in your CV shows employers that you’re interested in this job, instead of giving them the impression you’d be happy with any job. This will increase your chances of being secured an interview and allow you to review and improve your CV further before sending it out again.
Add a Cover Letter
Adding a personal statement or cover letter to the front of your CV enables recruiters to get to know you better and allows you to go into more detail about why you are the right candidate for the job. In your cover letter, highlight your personal qualities alongside your professional ones and tell them what attracted you to this role in particular and why you think you’d be an excellent fit for their company.