Essential CV Tips and advice for Job Seekers
This week saw the start of our #jobmailtipoftheday campaign. At Job Mail one of our aims has always been to educate job seekers to ensure that they connect better with potential employers and recruiters. For the last week we have been posting updates on our social profiles featuring CV tips. Here’s a summary of what went down…
So you have a CV which holds all your credentials and basically tells potential employers how capable you are of doing the job. Many people spend hours on creating their CV’s (and so you should be doing this as well). This document is your one shot of getting into a company and to get noticed. The scary thing is: how much time do you spend on your CV there after? From my experience in doing interviews for over 10 years, not very often.
Every time something new happens, such as a change of address or completion of a short course, you should update your CV. You should be updating your CV every 6 months to make sure it is up to date, fresh and showcases your strengths.
There is no rule of thumb, remember that your aim is to deliver the most relevant information pertaining to the job ad as fast, and as comprehensively as possible. Basic information such as age, the area you live / work in, etc. Take note that it’s not necessary to put your physical address or full names and nicknames of your entire family.
Make sure that you specify the following attributes on your CV:
– Your career goals: What you aim to achieve professionally and how you plan on doing that. Mentioning career goals is important.
– Your past work experience from latest to oldest: Where possible, company name, industry the company is in, what your role and tasks were. This portion is where a potential employer can see if you will be capable of doing the job he / she is needing you to do. It is not necessary to include every little detail (this will be covered in the interview) but certainly include information that would back up your statement.
– Your knowledge, skills and ability: In terms of skills, ability and knowledge learnt. Please note though that Knowledge, skills, and abilities are three different things. It’s important to know the difference, even though the difference can be subtle.
Knowledge refers to theoretical information acquired about any subject whereas skills refer to practical application. Knowledge can be learned whereas skills require practical exposure.
Skills are the proficients developed through training or experience. Skills are usually something that has been learned. So, we can develop our skills through the transfer of knowledge.
Abilities are the qualities of being able to do something. There is a fine line between skills and abilities. Most people would say the differentiator is whether the thing in question was learned or innate.
When it comes to references from past employers, take note of the following: There is no law that says you MUST give references on initial contact with a potential employer. This means that on your CV you can state “references on request”.
You will however at some stage need to give these references with current contact information. “Oh they moved and I do not know where to” is NOT acceptable OR here is a good one, “you can find their contact number online or in the Yellow Pages”. Never make the potential employer do the work. In the case of a first time job seeker then you can include a character witness from someone that would hold a position of authority.
Then you can add some “meat” to your CV by including but not limiting to the following:
– A professional photo (head and shoulders)
– A short introductory video.
– A link to your website / blog / social profiles / portfolio online
Your CV should be an extension of your personality. Use colour and graphics (but remember people will be printing this document so be careful not to use too much colour and graphics). Make sure you have used correct grammar and checked for ALL spelling mistakes and used power words on your CV where possible.
Do not “waffle” on your CV. It should not be longer than 4 pages and it really is NOT necessary to include all your certificates and a copy of your ID. If the employer needs it, they will ask for it.
The common mistakes job seekers tend to make on their CV are putting either too much irrelevant information or too little information in it – both can damage your chances. Let’s put this into some perspective: If the information you are adding is pertinent to you finding a job, then add it. If the information will not assist you, but is nice to show, then leave it.
Always make sure when emailing your CV that send out the latest, updated copy and send a cover letter (which is personalized to the person you are sending it too).
Updating your CV will improve your chances to get hired, so I trust that you find these CV tips useful. Revise your CV and once you’ve revised it, log in to your Job Mail account and update your CV. If you’re not registered on Job Mail yet, click here to start the process.
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