CV or not CV? Getting your CV right

A good CV gives potential employers a snapshot of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. At Pitman Training our course advisors are experts in CV preparation. So, here’s our top tips on how to get your CV right.

Grab their attention

The average time employers spend looking at a CV is just 5-7 seconds!1 So, making sure that your CV grabs an employer’s attention is crucial. Keep your CV clean and simple to read and use proactive language to create a confident tone – this will make everything easily digestible for employers and increase your chances of being noticed.

Be accurate

Employers will judge you on mistakes, either in structure, spelling or punctuation. To avoid grammatical errors, proofread your CV like an editor, read each section slowly to look for any mistakes. Once you’ve finished, ask friends and family to proofread for you as well. It’s also important to never embellish the truth when writing a CV – employers will find out. Always stick to the facts and ensure your language is as concise as possible.

Keep it brief

Your employer will often be dealing with hundreds of applications, so they will appreciate it if you keep your CV at an easily digestible length. As a rule of thumb, keep your CV at two pages. Use bullet points to share the essentials and standout boxes to draw the recruiter’s eye to highlights.

Make it relevant

Whilst you may have a standard CV prepared with your key information, skills and experience, you need to then tailor each CV as you submit it for new roles. What makes you an ideal candidate to make it to the next step in the recruitment process? Always start with your name and contact details, your opening statement and then your current role, working backwards through your career, education, training, qualifications, interests and references. But then look at the company’s social media and include details on why you would fit in with their workplace culture.

Your social media matters

Many people list their social media accounts on their CV but remember, one in three employers rejected candidates based on something they found out about them online.1 If your social media accounts contain content which your mum would blush at then make them private. If you don’t already have an active LinkedIn account, start one today as it’s a great way for employers to see your previous achievements at a glance. Follow the businesses you are applying to – you need to gauge whether you’d like to work for them as much as they need to assess you!

BeHiring, confessions of the recruitment industry