Job hunting has evolved into quite an intricate, overwhelming process – there are many steps to take and many hoops to jump through in order to land a dream job. The quality of your CV can mean a difference between getting a job interview in a jiffy and going completely unnoticed in the piles of job applications. So getting your CV right is paramount. While it is true that every CV is different, there are several key aspects to pay attention to, and here are the tips that can help you craft a CV that can take your career to the next level.
Name, professional title, and contact details
At the top of your carefully-selected CV/resume template, there should be your contact information. First and foremost, it is essential that you provide your full name, as well as your professional title. Next, the contact details need to be valid and up-to-date, so that recruiters can easily reach out to you. Include a phone number, email address, and the Skype contact that you use and check regularly since you don’t want to miss that potentially life-changing phone call!
→Pro tip: include a link to your LinkedIn profile to demonstrate your career profile to your prospective employer and present yourself in more detail that way.
Education and work experience
Your academic background comes next, and it should be followed by your work experience. Both need to be listed in reverse chronological order – the most recent ones being at the top of the list. Your academic qualifications should be specified, stating the study field, degree, accompanied by graduation date, city, and university.
Next, your previous work experience should be listed in bullet points, each including a company name, your job title, and your responsibilities. It can come in handy (and it also gives your resume a professional look) to include company contact information and a link to their website. This will send a message to the recruiting officer that you didn’t ‘duke the stats’, and that you are not afraid of them fact-checking your CV with your previous employers.
→Pro tip: it’s advisable that you resist the temptation to tweak the truth here, as you probably don’t want to go through an embarrassing situation of being caught red-handed, a situation where a hiring manager realizes that you ‘embellished’ some of the information in your resume.
Tailor your CV
Finally, the resume you submit should be tailored to the job position you are applying for. If you are a sort of a jack-of-all-trades, make sure you single out the expertise that is the most relevant for the given job position. It will instantly show that you are a good match for the job. Enlisting only the short-listed set of skills and competencies that are relevant can speak volumes about your suitability for the job and distinguish you as a perfect match.
→Pro tip: it’s worthwhile spending some time looking at the job description in detail and noting what the exact requirements and responsibilities are so that you can adjust the scope of information you want to include accordingly.
Cover Letter Essentials
Cover Letter: A story that complements facts from CV
Whereas a CV is all about enlisting facts and information, a cover letter – also known as a letter of motivation – is the place to tell your story and present yourself in the best possible light. This is your chance to impress your employer: if you play your cover letter cards well, it can go a long way in securing you a job interview. It allows you to fill the holes in your resume, highlight your strengths, and explain why you think you are a suitable candidate for the job.
How to structure it?
It should be one page long, no more than that. Different sections should be divided into paragraphs. In other words, there will be about four paragraphs, each dedicated to a separate topic: a statement of applying for a certain job position, referencing previous work experience, mentioning your hard and soft skills, and finally, highlighting why you are a good candidate for the job.
What to include?
Start by clearly stating what position you are applying for, how have you heard about the job posting, and why you are applying.
Then, go on to describe how your previous work experience relates to the job position at hand. Focus on the aspects that might be of interest to your potential employer, and the ones which demonstrate the range of technical skills you have mastered, for example, proficiency in a foreign language or typing speed. That way, you have covered the hard skills part. As for the soft skills, try to present your personality traits that are your strongest asset. Also, in this section describe your communication skills, leadership potential, interpersonal skills, work ethic, and so on.
Last but not least, don’t forget to stress how interested you are in the job and how you can contribute to the company’s development with your skillset. It won’t hurt to mention how the company values and mission align with your own worldviews and beliefs.
Now that you have all the ins and outs of writing a stellar Resume and Cover Letter which will be impossible to go under the radar, send us yours and impress us.