Find out more about the industry or job you are interested in.
Recruiters almost always provide a Job Description (or People Specification) to applicants. If one is not provided, don’t be shy to ask. It demonstrates your enthusiasm and passion for the job. This will give you an indication of what skills and competencies they require. This knowledge will allow you to assess the potential for your CV to reflect these requirements.
Do some industry research if you have a good idea of the type of industry you are interested in. This will give you an idea of what skills are required. This will allow you to tailor your CV.
Showcase Your Skills – Treat your CV like a shop window
Before you start to think about the main content of your CV. Take a moment to reflect on your key skills. This is important for many reasons. It is worth spending a little time upfront to identify your skills. This will help you focus your CV content and make an impact.
For your CV, create a separate section called “Skills”. Potential employers will first see your CV. Make sure it is your shop window. Potential employers will appreciate your key skills. They won’t need to go through your entire CV. Large employers review a lot of CVs and have a list of what they are looking for. Your CV will be more effective if you have a well-organized skills section. You will have the best chance of getting an interview.
How to structure your CV
Next, create the structure of your straw man CV. The following sections are my favorite: personal profile, key accomplishments, employment history, and interests.
Make sure you have high-quality content in your CV
Make sure you have bullet points that cover more details about the skills you’ve identified in your CV for each job role. Power words that add impact such as managed, designed, or contributed rather than being a part of, can make you appear more like someone who is merely a spectator than someone with substance.
Your personal profile section is an important part of your CV. It will be the first thing that prospective employers read. Cross-refer this section to the job description and person specification to make sure you’re capturing the employer’s needs. This section should be concise and not overly detailed. It shouldn’t be boring! Be honest in your personal statement. It should reflect you as an individual and you must be able to confidently discuss this statement during the interview.
Always use correct grammar and punctuation. Never use text speak. It is a good idea to have a friend or family member proofread your CV before you send it out to potential employers.
Get to know your CV content inside out
Interviews will likely include detailed questions about your CV. Although it may seem obvious, make sure you are familiar with the contents of your CV. To refresh your memory, you can read it again a few times before an interview.
Now you are ready for an interview
It is a great way to get started on your interview preparation by identifying your key skills early. Next, think about what skills you want to highlight during the interview. Here’s a tip: Prepare some examples that demonstrate your skills. It’s better to have great examples prepared for interview questions than be flustered and lose your chances of succeeding.