5 CV tweaks to get an interview
If you have sent out hundreds of CVs and you’re not getting a response, it’s time to get real and take a good long look at your CV.
Print it out, look at it carefully and get out the red pen. Sometimes you can uncover simple issues that have been costing you the chance to get the job.
Here are five simple tweaks that can change your world and help you get the job.
1. Run a spell check
It sounds so simple, but so many people don’t do it. A US study showed that 40% of personnel managers would automatically dump a candidate who sent in a CV containing spelling mistakes just a few years ago and now that is just 17%. So the world is getting more forgiving, but that’s still almost 20% of managers that will toss your CV in the bin if it isn’t clean as a whistle. It’s just too many jobs to lose, so go through it with Word’s own safety net and get your friends to read it.
Just because a CV is short and punchy, which it should be, don’t think you get a free pass when it comes to the grammar. Make sure it’s on point, or you might not be.
2. Cut the dead wood
Start with the statement – employers just don’t want to see them anymore and you have to tailor the objective to each job or it will actually form a barrier. The cover letter does the job far better so unless you want to tailor your CV to each and every job, just drop it altogether.
Now go through your CV and check for relevant facts. Your swimming certificate might make you proud, but does it really make a difference to your application for an office manager’s position? Cut anything that doesn’t matter, it will draw attention to what really does.
3. Ditch the buzzwords
Serious business people do not want a potential employee that makes their CV sound like a bad comedy sketch. So ditch the buzzwords like ‘motivated’, ‘results-orientated’, ‘dynamic’, and more. The average CV gets six seconds of attention from a recruiting manager, don’t fill that time with meaningless rubbish.
4. Use numbers
If you took charge of a team that increased sales by 23%, that sounds way more impressive than simply being in charge of a successful sales team. Numbers add weight and credibility, so use them wherever you can and make a point of quantifying any claim. It will send the quality of your CV through the roof and could be the most valid point here.
5. Format it properly
It’s boring, perhaps, but attention to detail is an important part of most jobs and your potential employer will want to see a consistent approach across this one document at least. Check your formatting for your dates, your spacing and more. Make sure it looks right, not awkward and inconsistent. Get others to read it to ensure it’s perfect.