By Lilian Wamaitha
When it comes to job hunting, your CV is the most important thing.
Get it right and you will have multiple interviews in no time but get it wrong and you are looking at constant rejection by employers.
When was the last time you updated your CV? When was the last time you went through the job description to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for (and I ain’t talking about changing the employer’s address)?
I know its exhaustion thinking about such things when all you want is a job. But here is the thing; as long as you don’t pay attention to that important piece of document, you are not getting a job.
Why is it that other people seem to be getting jobs and you are not?
What are you doing wrong yet when you think about it, you have the same qualifications or are even more qualified than they are?
It’s okay to miss out on a few jobs for a few months but if your job search has been dragging on for years, something is amiss.
Since you don’t happen to know every employer you send your application to on a personal basis, then your CV needs to stand out.
Trust me; they have seen so many CVs that they know what has just been pulled off the internet and someone who took their time to really draft their application.
In this article, find the three basic CV rules that you must follow if you are to land a job anytime soon.
1. Keep it as short as possible
Here is the brutal truth; employers are not impressed with a very long CV. In fact what you are doing is just telling them not to go through your CV.
Of course there are instances where your CV might be longer; like someone who has a lot of years of experience but if you are a fresh graduate, I don’t understand why your CV would go past one page unless it’s the referee page.
You only have your education and maybe one internship so don’t add everything including that IEBC clerk role you played in the 2013 General Elections.
And even if you have a lot of experience, not every position you have held is relevant to every job you apply for.
For instance, those internships and entry level positions you held over a decade ago don’t add any value to the senior position you are applying for.
I guess what I am trying to say is that, when writing the CV, ensure that you are listing only those experiences that will play a role in getting you a job.
Employers aren’t necessarily impressed with what you did a long time ago but in the last two positions you have held.
2. Whatever you do, always tailor the CV to fit the job description
This ties to point number one above.
Remember, like I said, the employer doesn’t know you. In fact they only have an average of 30 seconds to go through your CV to determine if you are the right fit before moving on to the next one.
What is it in your application that will convince them to take their time and even call you for an interview? It’s the way you have tailored it to fit what they are looking for.
But what you will find is that a majority of job seekers will concentrate so much on duplicating the responsibilities from the job description and forget that those responsibilities can change anytime.
The employer might even decide to re-advertise the job with different responsibilities. What then? Will you copy and paste the new responsibilities and send the CV to the same employer.
Most of the time, you losing out on a job is just as simple as you not paying attention to your application.
3. For the love of God, always explain your employment gaps
It is usually worse when you do not give a brief explanation on your CV to account for the time spent outside employment.
Few employers want to hire a person who makes technical appearances into employment and then vanishes without a satisfactory account.
To fill career gaps on your CV, talk about the part time jobs you have done while you were out of regular employment.
“You may not know it but talking about a course you resumed when you are not employed is also a good filler on your CV,” says Rebecca, a professional CV writer at Corporate Staffing Services.
4. Always have a selected achievements section
When you get to a certain level in your career, employers become less interested in what you can do but more on what you can deliver, that is the achievements you have already made so far.
If you are in a senior position, you most likely have a lot of achievements to choose from but this does not mean that you should use this section to list everything you have ever done.
And even if you are an entry level job seeker, what difference did you make at that internship. Don’t underestimate yourself into thinking that you don’t have much to offer an employer.
5. Remove anything that does not sell your candidacy
You don’t need a whole paragraph explaining basic duties most especially if they are already implied by your job title.
For instance, if you are an admin assistant, you don’t have to bore the recruitment manager explaining how one of your duties was to welcome visitors to the office.
First of all, every other admin assistant does that so it’s not brain surgery and second, your job title already communicates that.
Your CV is a marketing document, not a place to list out everything about you. Only include things that portray you in the best light for the job at hand.
With this in mind
The job market is tough but that does not mean that you can’t get a job. After all, aren’t people getting employed all around you? So why not you?
The moment you stop applying for jobs like you know the employer, is the moment you will change that narrative. You deserve a job and you will only get it if you change the way you draft your CV.
For a CV make over, get in touch with one of our professional CV writers today through the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5 Basic CV Rules That Will Always Put You Ahead Of The Competition
By Lilian Wamaitha
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