Make sure you are the perfect applicant, target your CV

Why aren’t you getting callbacks after submitting your CV?

Even if you know that you’re the perfect applicant for a job you need to make sure the person reading your CV will see the match. Like most promotion activities it is absolutely critical that you try to understand your audience.

A candidate selector will typically view a list of applications showing some information taken from your application. Typically this will include a single line for your last two roles and answers to any specific questions that you gave when you applied.

Your CV must be noticed for the first selection and ensure that you are selected for an interview. It must easily communicate who you are and what you’ve achieved to both a generalist and a specialist. Tough ask!

Our tips:

Less can be more:

In the world of text and Twitter less really is more. No one reads the whole manual anymore. So you either slim down your whole CV to two pages or you use a dual approach. The method you should choose depends on your depth of experience.

If can provide a long detailed CV full of relevant experience then consider a split approach. Ensure that the first page includes summarised sections that address the key questions. Follow on with the details but don’t hide any important positives in the back pages.

If you’re short of experience then keep your CV to two pages maximum. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking the recruiter will be able to understand who you are by reading between the lines. Make sure you write all the positive points.

Tell the full story:

You’d probably be suprised how positive a two year role at Macdonalds can be in your CV. Recruiters aren’t just looking for specific experience. Contempory recruitment focusses on behaviour as much as skills.

If your CV shows that you’ve held down roles in known companies, even in a completely unrelated function, it counts to your chances. People can learn skills faster than changing their behavoir.

And remember, recruiters look for gaps.

Accentuate the positive:

Whilst you can’t completely ‘eliminate the negative’ you certainly can promote positive experience and achievements. Employers want to see your successes so tell them.

Your CV should be complete but it doesn’t have to be a simple list of your positions. When you document your roles make sure that your achievements shine out.

Answer the ad:

It’s tempting to create a single ‘killer CV’, don’t! Employers detail what they want in their ads. Sometimes they hide the key requirement as an extra ‘would be nice’ at the end of the ad.

You need to modify your CV for every application. As a rule of thumb try to ensure that your CV makes it clear that you have what they want, however simple.

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