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Building The Perfect CV

You’re applying for a new job, however, you’re not getting the right sort of conversion you deserve. Although you might not be at your best due to Covid-19, now is the time to stand out from the crowd and discover a new industry and open new doors that you thought you may never open before.

Nowadays CV’s are quickly scanned by bots before a real human actually gets a chance to look at it. This can make things allot more difficult for those that have missed key elements that these bots are looking for while scanning your CV before passing it onto a recruiter.

Visual Presentation and Organisation

For some this may already be obvious, however, there are still some people that prioritise this aspect over others which can have a huge impact on the result of your application.

We’ve all been told that looks don’t matter as much as substance, but in the case of a CV, this just isn’t true. The appearance should be polished and should scream “high potential” just as your experiences say. Remember that your CV is your marketing tool. It’s the first impression a potential employer has of you.

You should consider using bullet points to increase the impact on the employer. If employers see too many long sections of text, they might find it difficult to zero in on the most crucial information. The size and type of bullets should also be taken into account. Although seemingly minor, the visual impact of a CV is the key to ensuring that an employer will read it thoroughly.

CV Writing

The career summary is a key component to compel the hiring manager to keep reading and stay engaged in your CV. Improve your career summary to define you as a professional and cover those areas most relevant to your career level and job target.

Try to avoid overused phrases and add a little value to your CV through strong descriptive words that can be uniquely used for your CV. Strong action verbs, used with compelling language to outline exemplary achievements, are essential parts of a well-constructed CV.

Now, let’s put it all together. Here’s a real life example taken from a CV. By changing the language, with improved perception of the candidate.

  • Passive language / Doing: “Negotiated contracts with vendors”
  • Action language / Achieving: “Slashed payroll/benefits administration costs 30% by negotiating pricing and fees, while ensuring the continuation and enhancements of services.”

A change like this makes a dramatic improvement.

It may not seem obvious, but a regular review of every word and sentence in your CV is a good idea. Hiring managers are looking for an excuse to eliminate you as a candidate. You may not be able to see awkward phrases and grammatical errors if you’ve already spent a lot of time with your own CV, so considers asking others to give you feed back or even consider coming back to it in a day or two time.

Digital Readiness

When we talk about “Digital Readiness” we’re talking about how ready your CV is before you sent it over to your recruiter. PDF’s may make viewing consistent for recruiters, however, some older applicant tracking systems (ATS) have problems reading them. If you have the ability, you might consider saving your document in Microsoft Word format for some online submissions.

93% of all Hiring Managers use CV scanning software called applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter candidates from the application pool. To illustrate how you stand up to the automation, type into google “ATS CV Test” and see how your CV would do going through the very same software the recruiters are using.

Hiring Managers use this software to filter the real talent from the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of candidates that apply for a single open position.

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) also help automatically designate a Best Fit based on your experience level and the kinds of keywords spread throughout your CV. The ATS will also assign a weighted score to Key Skills & Competencies from your CV to paint a picture of who you are as a potential employee.