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Creating a CV that highlights your skills and experience effectively is the first step you need to take when looking for a new job. The purpose of any CV is to get you invited for an interview. If you have submitted your CV to lots of jobs (that you have the experience for), but you have not been invited for interview, your CV is the issue and it needs some work.
Your CV has roughly 12 seconds to make a positive impression. It is important that the layout and content of your CV is easy to read and understand within a short timeframe. In this article, I will outline some simple tips on how to create a CV that makes a positive impact.
Tips to create a CV that makes an impact
Regardless of the amount of experience that you have gained over the past number of years, your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages long. Any CV that is longer than 2 pages will reduce your chances of your CV doing its job i.e. getting you invited for interviews. It is quality over quantity when it comes to CV writing. When you are writing your CV, consider if the information will increase or decrease the chances of your CV doing its job?
There is no need to include a professional photograph on your CV if you are applying for jobs in Ireland. Including a professional photograph does not add value to your CV and it takes up valuable space. However, the requirements are slightly different if you are applying for jobs in a European Country so include a professional photograph on those applications.
Reverse Chronological Order
The content of your CV should be presented in reverse chronological order, starting with the current and most recent work experience and working backwards. Presenting your CV content in this format highlights your career growth and development, it emphasises the most recent jobs that you held and it is easy for the reader to understand if and when there were any career gaps. In relation to the education content, you have a choice to either highlight this information in reverse chronological order or you can highlight the most relevant education for the job you are applying for first. It is a personal preference but both options are accepted.
Relevant to the Job
One of the biggest mistakes jobseekers make when they are applying for jobs is that they submit a generic CV to lots of jobs. This is a recipe for failure. In order to avoid this error, spend time updating your CV for the job that you would like to apply for. This will take time but it is time well spent, as this will increase your chances of being invited for interview. It is much better to apply for less jobs and to spend the time updating your CV for those jobs, than to send a generic CV to lots of jobs.
Grammar and Spelling
Once you have created a CV that is relevant for the job you want to apply for, check your grammar and spelling before you submit your CV for any job application. It is easy to oversee these errors when you are creating a CV, but it will be the first thing the reader will spot immediately. Perhaps even get a family member or friend to double check your CV for these errors.
Once you have been invited for an interview, your CV has done its job. It will then be up to you, to sell your skills and experience effectively during the interview in order to get a job offer.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you have gained some tips on how to create a CV that makes a positive impact. Please share this article with anyone who might benefit from it.
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