How to make your CV and experience stronger

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Your CV is essentially a written advertisement for yourself. This is the first piece of documentation that the employer and recruiter will receive, so you will need to sell yourself and make sure all crucial information is clearly listed. Make your first impression count!

Ensure your CV follows a clear layout

Start your CV with the essentials: your contact details and name. This is so very important, as you need to be contactable by recruiters. Make your name, telephone number and email address stand out at the top of the page.

Aim for a simple design – something too complicated can put people off. Use a clear font, simple headings and don’t include a photo.

Try to keep your CV to a maximum of two pages – the hiring manager will usually be very time-poor so won’t have time to review anything longer. Remember to proofread any document you send it to recruiters and employers. Look for any spelling and grammatical errors and if your CV includes bullet points, ensure they are all the same and follow suit.

Avoid the irrelevant

Be realistic when writing your CV. Keep all information relevant. If you are applying for a particular role, tailor your CV to suit the job spec. If you have covered elements in another role which may fit the position that you are applying for, make sure you mention this. By adapting your CV to match the job spec, you will be far more appealing than a candidate who may not have the experience required. When writing your CV, make sure you are always thinking about what you are writing. Avoid the obvious and ensure you do not waffle on. Try to bullet point your key responsibilities in your previous roles to stay succinct.

Mind the gap

You will need to explain any gaps in your employment history. An unexplained gap is usually a red flag and your recruiter will definitely ask you about it, as they will need to explain it to your potential employer. It doesn’t matter what your break was for – travelling, maternity/paternity or just a career break – being clear is much better than being vague.

You should also make reasons for leaving jobs clear – it could be that you felt that you were no longer busy and felt you needed a new challenge, or it may be that you were made redundant. Reasons such as these are not negatives and your consultant will appreciate your honesty.

Never, ever lie on your CV

It is common that candidates tell a fib or two on their CV. This may be in the hobbies and interests section, where it mentions that they enjoy team sports and cooking. However, others have made the mistake in lying about qualifications, salaries and achievements. Employers do carry out background checks on their candidates and if they find something that doesn’t match up, it can lead in a retracting of an offer at a later stage. The consequences are never positive, so it’s essential to make sure your CV is a true and honest representation of your experience.

Limit job-hopping

Millennials have thrown away the idea of company loyalty – most will only stick around for two years before looking elsewhere. [1] So, while having a variety of roles has become more common, there is a point where employers will start to question why your stints have been so short. There is an expectation that, unless there is a valid reason, you will remain in every permanent role for a year – if you only stay in a job for a few months, it will make you appear unreliable to your recruitment agency and employers.

One way to do this is to really think about the job before you accept an offer. Think about any reservations that you may have and why you may have such reservations. Your consultant is there to answer any questions you may have if you would prefer to avoid asking the employer directly.

You may be leaving a job due to boredom; your skills are not being utilised and the role is not busy enough for you. Before throwing in the towel, think about what you could do to help matters. Speak to your employer and explain how you are feeling. They may be able to help and give you more responsibility, making your current job more exciting and essentially will make you stay in the role for longer. The longer you stay in a position, the more reliable and loyal you will appear. If you have a hoppy CV, where you jump from roles without a second thought, it may appear that you lack engagement and struggle to get on with colleagues.

For more advice on CV writing, check out our Insights page. Once your CV is ready for the job hunt, get in touch with the Tiger team, or check out our job listings.

Author Tiger Contributor Tiger Recruitment Team

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