Friday, 28 August 2015

Lose weight - Fast!

Okay I've not gone crazy and nor am I about to start writing about weight loss. I'm talking about slimming down that CV.

A general rule of thumb says that your CV should be no longer than 2 pages long, this means you need to summarise your experience as best you can but remain interesting and appealing. No mean feat for most but if you've a whole heap of experience then it can be a really tricky task (NB sometimes its ok to push to 3 pages particularly in certain industries where your experience will be technically/scientifically specialist).

So how do you go about reducing all of that information that you're CONVINCED is so important
and every employer MUST know? Hint; they don't.

Layout - make sure the layout of your CV is conducive to keeping it short. If you're short of space then don't have your address listed, have it on one line across the top, the same goes for your education, don't list it vertically, do it horizontally.

Necessary? - Is everything you're including in your education necessary? You really don't need to include all of your GCSEs or O'Levels, you can summarise your A Levels unless they are specific to your role (which if you've a lot of experience they won't be any more). Just remember that an employer wants to look at your experience and your skill, not necessarily your education before you were 18.

Training - Unless it is really relevant to the role you're applying to, you don't need to include every training course you've ever been on. A prospective employer is unlikely to be interested in your 2011 Fire Marshall training course or your 2008 Word refresher, make sure the courses you're listing are specific to the role. Degree courses are always good to include even if the role is in a different field, you're likely to get questioned if that's the case but it will show you have commitment and dedication to study.

Job specifics - Here's where it gets tricky. You want to make sure you're including everything that's relevant but you don't want to waffle on for multiple paragraphs. So how do you go about it? It's pretty simple really but a LOT of people can't be bothered because it takes effort.

You need to tailor your CV to the role you're applying to.

Make sure you read the job advert and apply it to your CV, don't make it too obvious of course but it doesn't take a genius to read a job ad and find out what they're looking for. Make sure you include any relevant experience, specific matches are good, for example if they're looking for someone with team leadership experience and you have it, put it in (You'd be shocked how many people miss off the most obvious of things), if you don't have that specific experience then see if you have anything that vaguely matches up, if you don't have anything that does then don't waffle on about something that is completely irrelevant, you can try and make up with your lack of experience in one area by shining in another.

Remove any information that doesn't align with what they're after but if you have something outstanding to include then do put it in.

If you feel you just have too much marvellous experience and simply CAN'T slim it down (trust me, you can) then you can start a list, again, horizontal rather than vertical, and you should focus on responsibilities rather than achievements.......

Responsibilities and Achievements - This is a rather old school approach to a CV but if you're struggling for space it can save you, by splitting your experience this way, you can really see the wood for the trees - as can an employer - you will be able to identify the two areas and also identify what information is most relevant to the job you're applying to. You can also create lists this way as described above.

This is a simplified approach of course but it can get you on the right track to removing irrelevant information and making your CV match as closely to the job as possible whilst also showcasing the talented individual you are!

Come and talk to us if you need further guidance. We can help you find the right balance 

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