How do you ensure that your CV does not just disappear into the void and that recruiting managers remember your name when the role that you are suited for finally comes available?
- Well firstly – ensure that you are applying for those roles that you are actually suited for and that your CV and resume shows how your skills suit the position. If you are trying to get into a new industry – expect to start at a more junior position and ensure that you highlight why you are suitable in your covering letter (you were going to send a covering letter weren’t you?)
- Ensure that your CV/Resume and Cover Letter (remember the cover letter always … its extremely important and gives you a great area to highlight your skills outside of the 2 page CV/Resume format) include the key-words that the job specification indicates are necessary for the role. However do not just fill your CV up with key words – no one will be fooled – ensure that you job experience matches the role (see point 1 above) and that you are able to speak to this skill in an interview.
- Formatting, formatting, formatting. Presentation is key here – you want to ensure that you’ve minimized any spelling or grammar errors and also that your CV stands out (by that I DO NOT mean print it on fluorescent pink paper!) from the crowd. Ensure that your name and contact details are clear and use legible font that can be decreased in size without losing clarity throughout your document – I would suggest Tahoma/Arial/Verdana as they are all very clear even down to Font Size 6 allowing you to get a lot of information on the page. However – try to ensure that there is enough white space on the page as too much text is just going to kill the reviewer and they will not bother reading the whole document.
- Structure – in addition to the overall look and feel of your document you need to ensure that you are emphasizing your achievements (not your job duties … people know what a Customer Service Representative does, but they don’t know that you’ve sourced and built the ticketing system that the company is using for example!). The top of your CV should have a couple of sentences speaking about what you are looking for and why you would be a good fit for the role.
- Network – 60-70% or more of jobs are never advertised – well, not in the public domain anyways. They come about through word of mouth and the jobs are sourced and filled by people that other people know! You should always ensure that you have your name on others lips and keep yourself active on sites like LinkedIn and even Facebook for that matter!
- If you’ve been lucky enough to secure an interview – make sure that you’ve done your homework on the company! Come dressed to impress at the interview and ensure that you send a follow up email or letter after the interview thanking them for their time. Remember they might be seeing 10 or 100’s of people for the role and if you are one of the early people you want to get them to remember you again when they are closer to making the decision.
- Treat your job search like a job! That means that you need to maintain a list of contacts (recruiters) and websites that you have advertised yourself on and you should spend 2-3 hours a day looking for new opportunities and following up on previous ones. Do NOT just send an email with your CV and expect that you will get the job immediately thereafter. To get the right role takes motivation and effort and you shouldn’t give up after 1 or 2 strike outs.
So to reiterate –
- Apply only to jobs where you are most suited
- Format your CV and cover letter to include the key words that they are looking for
- Check your CV for spelling/grammar errors
- Ensure your CV is structured correctly
- Follow Up
- Treat it like a job!- During a recession it often takes 17+ interviews to get a job so keep your chin up.
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