Most job seekers I work with have a great attitude, a superb personality and excellent skills/qualifications, but they STILL struggle to get interviews. Why? A review of their CV will reveal the answer. CVs are poorly formatted, look cluttered and don’t sell the job seeker effectively. Creating impactful content is the key ingredient for effective CV writing, but you can’t ignore information positioning or visual appearance. I’ll explore these two points below.
It’s essential to get as much critical information onto the first page of your CV. Remember, a recruiter will only spend as little as 20 seconds reviewing your CV. This means that the content on the second page of your CV won’t get read. Create a strong professional summary, which consists of five snappy bullet points. Also, ensure the first page of your CV includes the most relevant qualifications and work experience.
Your CV must look attractive. Remember, recruiters are making judgements even before they start reading your CV. A cluttered and poorly formatted CV can turn the recruiter off your CV. A few simple points to ensure you create an attractive CV:
• Use clear headers, as they’ll help the reader find information easier.
• Use uniformed font styles/sizes.
• White space to let the content breath. Don’t shrink font size below size 11 or move page margins to the extremes.
• Try to keep your CV to two pages, ensuring key information is on page one.
• Use bullet points to help the reader digest the information easier.
• Try to key points short and snappy, the fewer words the better.
Paul Mullan is founder of Measurability, a leading Career & Outplacement consultancy. For more details about Outplacement, CV Writing and Interview Coaching services www.measurability.ie