January is a busy time in recruitment. With the new year, many workers take a moment to consider whether or not it’s time for a new move in their career. In fact, at the end of 2018, we ran a survey to find out just how many people would be looking for a new job this year. A huge 84% of our website visitors said they would be looking to move jobs in 2019.
Starting a job search can be a daunting process, especially when faced with the prospect of updating your CV. If you’re looking to move roles this year, here are some tips to help get you started with getting your CV into shape.
1. Where to start
Don’t start by putting ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top. You have limited space to impress recruiters, don’t waste any of it with irrelevant information. Instead, use your name, professional title and contact details to start off your CV, giving the recruiter all the details they need to get hold of you.
2. Make the right things stand out
Be strategic with what you want to highlight on the page. You can use different font sizes and weights to draw a recruiter’s eye to the most important elements of your CV. Make sure these are the most relevant elements for the job you’re applying to.
3. Make it easy to read
It is essential that you choose a font that is clear and easy to read. You don’t have to be boring and stick to Times New Roman, but make sure you don’t distract the recruiter with your choice. Sans serif fonts tend to be clear and have a modern look. Whatever you do, avoid Comic Sans! Check out Helvetica, Verdana or Arial for some inspiration.
4. Tidy it up
Try and make your CV look organised and aesthetically pleasing. Pay attention to the balance of text and white space. Too much white space and it’ll look empty, too much text and it’ll be difficult to read and look messy. You might want to ask someone to take a look at your CV for you and get their opinion on this.
5. Formatting is key
Formatting your CV well is an easy way to stand out from the crowd. Recruiters are likely to receive dozens of applications for the same job so anything you can do to help your application stand out is well worth the effort.
Try breaking your CV down into clear sections and making the most relevant skills and experience take centre stage on your CV. Think about what you really want to show off.
Have you progressed quickly so far in your career and want to highlight this? Format your experience using a clear timeline to show that progression. Are you changing career and your skills section is more relevant than your work experience? Shift this section to the top.
6. What is the employer looking for?
As it’s likely that the employer will have lots of applications to look through, you’ll want to make it as easy as possible for them to pick yours out as a potential candidate. Think about what they are looking for in their ideal employee for this role and highlight the skills and experience you have that makes you a good fit. It’s always good to try and think about your CV from the employer’s point of view when deciding what to include.
7. Make sure you know the job description inside out
Don’t get ahead of yourself and start working on your application until you know exactly what it is that you’re applying for. Many jobseekers see a couple of keywords in a job title or job description and then throw themselves into their application. Spending a bit more time working out exactly what the job will entail will help you choose which of your skills and experience are most likely to stand out to the recruiter.
8. Make the most of a digital format
These days, your application is likely to be viewed on screen, rather than as a paper copy. Take advantage of this and add in links to your LinkedIn profile where employers can find out more about your skills and experience. If you have a blog or website that is relevant to the role, add that in too. This will show that you are passionate about the industry and will help your application stand out.
9. Complement your cover letter
While it is really important not to simply write out your CV in prose for your cover letter, there should be some continuity between the two. For example, if you’ve claimed in your CV that you’re creative, demonstrate this in your cover letter. If you’ve said in your cover letter that you have extensive experience in a particular area that makes you perfect for the role, highlight this in your CV.