Freelancer

Creating an Impactful CV

The top third of your CV has the initial Impact on an employer, so ensure the most important information is here.  Focus on the job you are applying for and what the hiring manager is most likely to want to read.

APPLICANT TRACKING SYSTEMS

Many organisations use an automated applicant tracking system.  Pick the CV format, use the incorrect terminology and it will be unlikely that your CV will reach a human for review.  The tracking system reviews resumes and accepts candidates who are most qualified for the role based on criteria.  It is important to learn how to navigate a tracking system to ensure you your CV gets to the hiring manager.

To increase your chances of reaching the interview stage here are some key points.

  1. Only apply for roles you are qualified to do.  This might be based on previous similar positions or your transferable skills.

  2. Read the job description thoroughly, find the important information - The keywords.

  3. Do not get caught up in the jargon.

  4. Include the keywords in your CV in the appropriate places, this might be in your previous positions or your skills.

  5. Tailor your CV to each new position you apply for.

TAILORING YOUR CV

This might seem an intimidating and time-consuming idea after you have spent so much time creating a great first CV.  The truth is customising your CV for each role is critical in proving you are the right person for the job.

Tailoring does not mean having to recreate your CV each time, here are some key points to consider.

  1. Keep your key skills to adapt the terminology to meet the keywords in the job description.

  2. Keep your prior work, experience, education, and any additional experience.

  3. Change your professional summary or objective statement to match what the company is looking for.

  4. Use keywords in your summary or objective statement to match what the company is looking for.  Research the company as well as the job description.

  5. Write the job title of the job you are applying for.

TAILORING YOUR SKILLS AND STRENGTHS

Why is this so important for each application?  You could be applying for jobs with the same job title within different organisations, but each organisation could have different expectations or needs in terms of what skills they are looking for.

  1. Print out or download a copy of the job description and highlight/markup the qualities the organisation is looking for.

  2. Pay close attention to the exact words used in the job description.

  3. Incorporate these into your strengths and skills ensuring you use their terminology.

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

Do not waste too much space on your CV on this section, but this is where you might describe your experience with volunteering, professional organisations you are involved with and hobbies.  This is not usually the first place a recruiters eyes might be drawn to but, it is another opportunity for you to market yourself as a good cultural fit for the organisation and show your personality.

  1. Research the organisation, so much information can be gleaned online.

  2. Think about what you do in your spare time that might fit with the culture of the organisation.

  3. Only include what is relevant to the role/organisation but use any transferable skills that will come across.

  4. It is better to leave this section out if you do not have any outside interests, do not be tempted to put going socialising with friends, going to the cinema etc.

                       We hope that you have found some of this information useful when pulling your new CV together.