Your CV is designed for this sole purpose and nothing else: to get you an interview. This means one thing to any job seeker; You must strive to create an immediate and lasting impression at the foremost glance in the mind of a recruiter through your CV. You must market and sell yourself in the shortest and quickest time possible.
Truth be told, to every single job vacancy advertised or made available to the public domain, a recruiter or the employer receives numerous job application CVs.The CV database will and is always space constrained as more and more applications stream in with an aim of catching the recruiters attention.
In order to stand out of this sea of job applicants and secure an interview appointment, then a number of key components in your CV ought to stand out strongly. This are the elements that all serious employers will be looking for in your CV.If you stand out courtesy of this key elements then you can be assured that you have an advantage over your competition.
1. Personal Statement
This is your first opportunity to make an impression, get it wrong and your chances of being invited for an interview go up like smoke.
You should give the employers a reason to continue reading the rest of your CV since it is their job to attract and retain the best employees for their businesses. Employers have little or no interest in what you want out of your career. They want to know what you will do for them and how will you benefit their business. Unfortunately most CVs fall into the trap of being too self-focussed.
For instance, phrases such as “Results-oriented professional seeking the opportunity to develop my career” or “Looking for a challenging opportunity…” should be avoided at all costs because they are focused on your person rather than the employers ambitions and vision.Instead, your statement must make the same assumption that all good adverts do: “If you have me in your company then you will benefit from this and that”.
2. Employment History
Serious employers spend more time looking at this section than any other part of your CV. Consequently, this section needs to quickly convince a potential employer of your suitability to the vacant role and effectively market you.
At the employment history section, you should address and offer answers to questions like: Why should you be hired instead of the other candidates? How will you add value to the company? What is you unique aspect? How can you fulfill their needs? etc
Exactly use this section to tell recruiters your career story without sounding like a machine. Start with your most recent position and list in reverse chronological order.
Your most recent positions need the most attention because it is your skills and experiences gained in these roles that will determine your suitability for the role. Show your start and finish dates in years only it looks better and helps hide any gaps when you may have been ‘in-between’ jobs.
But whatever you do, do not exaggerate or tell white lies about your capabilities because they have the nasty habit of creeping up on you. You may get caught out which could cause some embarrassment at a later stage.
Job hunting is a buyers and sellers marketplace. You are the seller and employers are the buyers. To make yourself more attractive than your competition, you need to use all the tools in your armoury.
If you graduated from a highly regarded tertiary institution, obtained excellent academic results or are currently studying towards a professional qualification relating to your chosen career, then position this section near the top of your CV. However, if your career history is your strongest selling point then place the Education section towards the end of your CV.
Employers focus on this section since it highlights your unique selling points as a prospective employee.
Make it easy for employers to spot your talents and be clear about what you are offering. Employers refer to this section to determine what they will get in return on their investment (ROI) in you.Therefore, you need to sell yourself and demonstrate your skills and achievements. Show how you are going to be a positive addition to their workforce.
Remember to mention the skills that augur well with the position applied for.
5. Always remember your audience
Employers will quickly scan a number of CVs and they do not want to be reading a list of skills or an employment history that reads like the wedding guest list.Keep your list short and tailored to the position that you are applying for. A targeted list will be more effective than one that’s overly long.
Remember, your CV is designed to market you to a potential employer. Make it clear, uncluttered and appealing, and address the three key questions that employers want answered: What can you do for me? What have you done before? Can you do it for me again but with more creativity and value?