July 8 2019
Secrets of a good CV: five simple tips
What’s in the average day of a corporate HR specialist? Over eight hours of work they receive between 100 and 300 messages with a CV attached. Do you believe they read each of those CVs carefully? No. The recruiter scans the document looking for information they consider important. How to attract their attention? Learn a couple of simple tips.
Stand out or die
An unremarkable CV will vanish in a thick pile of other documents. Try to draw the recruiter’s attention. A photo reflecting your personality, custom but elegant, low-key colors of the document, a modern CV template? Try it.
– I often flick through the application documents received by our company. There’s no doubt that a professional CV with an element of surprise stands out the most. Once the CV draws my attention, I read it more carefully – says Rafał Wilk, Solutions.Rent’s COO.
Do you want to stand out? Stay away from corporate clichés like “customer focused” or “results-oriented”. The recruiter is not likely to appreciate them. Quite the opposite, they may think that you downloaded a CV template from the Internet and didn’t bother to make any changes.
A lie has no legs
Do you remember the old saying that “a lie has no legs”? This fits in with the recruitment process quite well. The interview will immediately verify everything you put in your CV. Don’t overstate your skills to make them look better on paper. A short conversation in a foreign language will be a sufficient assessment of your fluency, and a couple of relevant questions will test your knowledge.
Achievements bring you closer to your goal
What the recruiter values the most is your experience – so you should put it on top of your CV. Try to make company names and positions more prominent, so that they draw the HR specialist’s attention. If you got promoted, make that clear in your application. Be specific in the presentation of your achievements. Your scope of duties is not entirely clear based on the name of the position you held? Try to give that position a name that will make it transparent for the recruiter.
– Documents I value the most are those containing information, facts and numbers. Such data allows to quickly assess whether the candidate is promising or the interview will be a waste of time – added Wilk.
A good CV only contains important information. A HR specialist is not interested in your marital status or place of birth. This only distracts them from the important bits.
Personalization is good
Just reading a job ad will allow you to identify the values important for the company where you’d like work. Write a CV that will be tailored to the vacancy. If you want to be hired by a tech company, focus on listing your skills. A marketing agency’s HR specialist will be keen to learn about the number of campaigns you completed and their results. Recruitment for a position that involves creative activities will surely never happen without portfolios.
First impression is key
First impressions are crucial. Send your CV as a .pdf file (which will look the same for everyone) and include your full name and the position that you are applying for as the filename. Attach your current photo. Make sure there are no stylistic, spelling or syntax errors in your document. Chose standard 10-12 point fonts. These simple but significant changes will make your CV recruiter-friendly.
Send your application documents from a professional e-mail address. The user name should preferably be your full name. Seeing your personal or professional nicknames or additional numbers, the recruiter may be anxious about opening the message or these may discourage them entirely.
Try to ensure that your CV will attract the recruiter’s attention. Its content should be arranged in a manner allowing to focus on experience, achievements and skills. If you send a cover letter along with your CV, make sure the documents are uniform in visual terms. This will confirm your professional attitude.
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