Finding a good job these days is remarkably challenging for most students as well as for those, who have already obtained their university degrees. Because of the high number of people enrolled in higher education, employers have a bigger talent pool to choose from, and therefore their criteria have changed tremendously.
This global change in the labour market has left many young graduates unemployed, or challenged by the skills and abilities of those who are directly competing against them for a particular position. In addition, the impact of the recession on employment levels in developed countries has been detrimental, and many are left with less desired job positions, or no jobs at all. As a result, unemployment among young people has reached record high levels in the last couple of years, especially in the UK capital London. As a result, employers are left with tough decisions to make, and with fewer and fewer candidates to select from the piles of applications they receive.
Very often a CV or a brief motivation letter is your only chance to catch the eye of your potential employer, and to possibly make it through to the next round. This brief article gives several simple, but very useful tips on how to prepare a good CV. Our experience with student and graduate job seekers shows that there are three ground-breaking actions, which always contribute to a good CV in almost any industry: tailor, format, and proofread.
Tailor you CV
Many essay writing service websites, as well as recruitment websites advise that the most important rule in writing a good, meaningful and interesting CV is tailoring. You probably heard and read this hundreds of times, but tailoring your CV is as crucial, as having your name on it.
Read the job specifications, as well as some of the company characteristics. Make sure the descriptions of your previous positions and experience are tailored to match the job specifics. Include only your relevant experience. For example, if you are applying for a market research analyst position, your previous experience as a part-time receptionist for a medical practice may seem not only irrelevant, but completely out of place. Focus on the things which are directly related to the position you wish to be hired for. Do not be afraid to re-work your descriptions for each position. Employers and HR people love that. They are very good at differentiating common CVs from tailored ones. The reason why tailored CVs tend to have a higher success rate is simple: they are more concise, and the information presented in them is more valuable to those who read it. To put it simple, for most recruiters, your skills do not exist, until they are properly visible on your CV.
Format your CV
Formatting is the second important requirement for writing a good CV. It has been established that potential employers spend no longer than three minutes on average looking at a CV (especially smaller companies which do not have the resources to hire someone to do their recruitment). Therefore the way your CV looks determines whether your application will be taken forward, or buried forever in an applicants’ database.
Formatting does not only mean elegant choice of font and size, and clear presentation of the information. It also means choosing the right arrangement for your CV. Establish which format fits best for the industry, where you are looking to be recruited. For example, medical CVs look completely different from legal, business, or military ones. Each industry might have some specifics on how your data should be organised graphically. Try to comply with those, and this is a guaranteed good first impression.
Whichever your chosen industry or sector, and regardless of the format you want to follow, your CV has to be simple. Simplicity is often the road to perfection, so do not leave your employers overwhelmed. At the same time – do not leave them wondering who you are as candidate. Give them enough information and format it in an elegant way.
Proofread your CV
Finally, do not forget to proofread your CV. It sounds naïve to think that someone would submit a CV with a spelling or typing mistake but believe it or not – it happens. And in most cases the results are catastrophic. It makes you look unreliable and careless about the way you present yourself as a candidate. After you finish working on your CV, leave it aside for a little while and get back to it a couple of days later. It will help you spot errors which you were not able to spot before. If you can, give it to someone else to read – having a fresh pair of eyes revising your work is always helpful.
Remember, no matter how accomplished and persuasive your CV looks, keep on working on it. Keep on improving it and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from friends, as well as professionals.