Top 10 tips to creating a successful CV
Here we share our secrets for creating a high impact, focused and targeted CV that will help you "discover what's under the surface" so that your CV stands out from the crowd.
Writing a good CV is not easy. Most recruiters and hiring managers spend only a few seconds scanning each CV before deciding whether to read further. Therefore your CV must be attractive, impressionable, and enticing to the reader. Recruiters must be able to identify quickly your key achievements, skills, experience and competencies. Here are our top 10 helpful tips (in no particular order) to a successful CV. Our CVs are designed around these features.
Our CVs will help you to be successful in your job search and that's guaranteed. However, just a few tweaks will help target your CV to the role. For example, including additional key words in your profile, or changing the role title just a little. All our CVs are bespoke and tailored to the role.
Usually a CV should be no more than two and a half pages of A4 paper. Employers spend, on average, just 8 seconds looking at any one CV, so it needs to be short, punchy and impressionable rather than an essay of your life! Remember, you can cover additional points at the interview.
Do not assume that the hiring manager will instantly see how your skills, experience and competencies relate to the role. Instead, we include a short, focused personal statement that instantly allows recruiters and hiring managers to understand who you are and what you can offer.
If you are lucky and, in the few seconds that a recruiter or hiring manager has to scan your CV, they are enticed to read further, then its vital that there are no mistakes. We check your CV for spelling mistakes, punctuation, grammar, formatting and font, and for other common errors.
If a recruiter or hiring manager spots a gap in your CV they will automatically become suspicious. If you have taken a career break then say so. If you have been out of work then be creative and say you completed a course or undertook some training. You will need to ensure you explain this at interview, of course, so don't lie. We check all our CVs to ensure there is no unexplainable gaps.
Never lie on your CV or at interview - they will find out! There is a big difference between putting a positive spin on an achievement and deliberately concealing the truth (lying)! Prospective employers will check your background, references, and the validity of your CV. We will challenge you on content, dates and any gaps, checking these against your existing LinkedIn profile.
Recruiters and hiring managers like to read a CV that is 'easy on the eye' - so avoid garish fonts, bold tables or anything that looks unprofessional or amateurish. All our CVs are formatted to be readable and attractive to the eye. Clearly content is important, but content can be very unappealing. We specialise in showcasing your strengths and ensuring that these are instantly visible.
Keywords are very important. These days recruiters will use complex software to undertake keyword searches (e.g. a search for "IT-enabled business change" or "Board-level"). A good test is to 'Google' a job title and see what specific words come back. We specialise in ensuring your CV has the right keywords specific to the sector and role you are seeking.
It is really important to include numerical achievements in your CV as they grab the readers attention and help to differentiate you from your competitors. Make them real, impressionable and, importantly, relative. So simply including sales of £Xm is insufficient. Instead, it needs to be something like £Xm sales and Y% higher than the t target or your peers' performance. We will help you bring out these key performance measures in a simple yet compelling way.
Keep your CV current. Recruiters are intolerant of out of date CVs and ones that are inaccurate as they reflect bad on you and them. Also, you will find that you will be hounded by recruiters if, for example, you have not updated your LinkedIn profile to reflect a new role or a break from employment. At Iceberg CVs, we offer a free updating service for all our customers.