Recruiters never ignore good talent and a well written CV is the first sign of that.
You will not get a second chance to make a first good impression with employers. It's therefore very important that you develop a professional high impact CV that not only gets you noticed but also impresses.
In today's online world of e-mailed CV's and job boards employers have seen a huge increase in the number of electronic job applications. These applications from both qualified and unqualified candidates has made it much harder for suitable job seekers to stand out.
Getting around the above points requires a professional CV designed to the highest standards and aimed directly at the needs, objectives and requirements of the employer. Write your own eye catching resume and save your self a lot of time and effort by using Dayjob's targeted CV templates (below) as guides and to get hints and tips. It is not advisable to copy the phrases from these templates word for word but instead to tailor and tweak them for each specific role you apply for and for your individual requirements.
Links to different categories of CV template examples:
Click on the images below to see the full PDF version. In the near future we are hoping to upload many more superb CV designs, so check back regularly. If you would like the fully editable MS Word versions of the CV examples below then you can purchase all of them for ONLY £5. Click here CV template purchase for more details.
FREE CV REVIEW
Would you like a professional opinion on your CV? If so then why not take advantage of our FREE service. Simply email a copy of your CV to us and it will be expertly assessed by one of our qualified resume consultants. After it has been reviewed you will be emailed back a report giving you suggestions on how to improve its quality, appearance and layout.
This is a no strings attached totally free service we offer exclusively to our site users. You do not need to sign up to anything and we guarantee never to spam your email or give you details to any third parties. To get your CV looked at all you need to do is email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All of the above CV examples are a maximum of two pages long and the layouts are industry standard, specific and acceptable for any related job application. They have been written for a specific profession like teaching, sales, engineering etc. They are all targeted with a list of typical responsibilities and duties relevant to their job roles. Making them very useful to use as a example to simply copy and edit or as a guide to tell you what to write and how to write it.
If you are applying for suitable jobs but not getting invited to interviews then your CV is probably letting your down. In job hunting first impressions count so its very important that you have a high impact and powerful CV that quickly communicates your skills and abilities.
Remember the first hurdle you need to pass when getting your dream job is to get invited to a interview. The best way to achieve this is by having a professionally written CV that grabs the hiring managers attention and makes them want to know more about you.
View your CV as a marketing tool to sell your skill sets, knowledge, abilities and experience to prospective employers.
Your CV should be well laid out, easy to read and to the point. It should be a maximum of 2 pages and its content should not be repetitive. It should be designed to stand out from the CVs of other applicants and it must contain information that will make you look attractive to a recruiter.
DO NOT AIM YOUR CV AT THE BIN - WRITE AND TARGET IT AT A SPECIFIC JOB
Research and studies of job applications and of the entire recruitment process have shown that your curriculum vitae only has about 30 seconds to make an impact on a hiring manger. Within this short period of time it is either rejected or put into a pile of candidate applications to be looked at later on.
For this reason alone you should write and target your CV at the vacancy you are applying for. By focusing your CV on a specific job role, you stand a much better chance of impressing the recruiter and getting noticed. There is no need to change the entire layout, fonts or style. Just focus on altering the text and content by inserting keywords relevant to the target job and mentioning your related abilities and skills.
Re-write your CV by highlighting skills and experiences that are relevant to those being asked for in the job advert. Remember that this may be time consuming but by doing this you will stand out from the vast majority of other applicants who send the same CV in to every job they apply for.
The aims of your CV
Your CVs first immediate objective is to encourage the recruiter to continue reading it.
Once they do this it's second aim is to convince the recruiter that you (the applicant) have the requirements that they are looking for.
It's third objective is to persuade them to invite you to a interview.
How to target and optimize your resume
The first point to remember is that you should treat your curriculum vitae as a marketing document and to lay it out in an organized way so that it’s easy for an employer to quickly find the information that they are looking for in an employee.
Investigate the company
Read up and research the company that is advertising the vacancy. What are the products or services that they sell, what is the state of the industry that they are in? Is it booming or going through a recession.
Check their website or online for any press releases, research the local newspapers, radio or TV stations to see if they have been in the news recently.
Whatever you discover you should try to mention it very briefly in your personal profile, career summary or covering letter and explain how you feel it can affect your ability to do the job.
The advantage of doing all of this is that you are showing a prospective employer that you are aware of what is going on in their industry and marketplace. This is sure to impress them for two reasons. Firstly not many other candidates will have done it and secondly it shows you have your finger on the pulse and are aware of what is going on around you. Choosing a career
Read the job advert
Try to get into the mind of the employer and find out exactly what they are looking for in a applicant. Do this by carefully reading the job description and making detailed notes on the job specifications and also what qualities, skills, qualifications and experience the employer has asked for in the job advert. Write down the key phrases and terminology that are used and then mirror these by mentioning them in your CV. Click here reading job adverts for more on this topic.
Focus and be concise
Be as precise as you can in highlighting that you have exactly what the employer is asking for. Try to ensure that every section of your CV from the personal summary, career history, areas of expertise right down to your academic qualifications is relevant to the job you are applying for.
The advantages of directing your CV at a specific job:
You have a much better chance of standing out from other competitors for the simple reason that most job seekers will send the same CV to every job they apply for.
Another point to note is that you may have a wealth of experience and skills in your industry, but not all of them will be relevant or required for the job you are applying to. If you were to list all of your irrelevant abilities in your resume then they would:
Take up valuable space.
Pollute your CV with unnecessary facts and make it difficult for the reader to find useful information about you. This would make it harder for them to read and they may just give up half way through it and bin your applications there and then.
Remember that hiring managers are human too, they may have had a long day and could be feeling tired and irritable. If it’s the middle of the afternoon and they have a heavy work load ahead of them the last thing they will want to do is to try to read a disorganized resume that is crammed full of irrelevant facts. They will simply move on to the next one and focus on those that are well laid out and easy to read.
By having your CV focused you make it much easier for a recruiter to read and find the skill sets that you have and that they are looking for. This makes their job a lot easier and their day just a little bit less stressful, both factors that they will appreciate.
You can impress prospective employers who will appreciate the fact that you have taken the time and effort to write something especially for them. They will acknowledge that you have spent time researching their company and its business and that you have spent a few hours writing and putting together a curriculum vitae that is for their eyes only and no one else’s.
Finally when writing your CV remember that it’s very rare that an employer is going to be looking for a ‘jack of all trades’. It is much more likely that they will be looking for someone with specific traits, abilities and experience, your CV is an opportunity to show them that you have the exact qualities that they are looking for. Career advice when applying for public sector jobs
The disadvantages of targeting your CV:
The only real disadvantages is that it is basically time consuming as you will essentially have to write a new resume for each job you apply for. Depending on your experience and writing abilities this can take anything between a few hours to a whole day or even longer. However looking on the positive side the more CVs you write the better you will become at doing it and the less time it will take you to write them in the future.
What if you have difficulty matching your skills to the job requirements
If you are really struggling to find anything appropriate in your work experience or skill sets that is relevant to a vacancy, then you may have to conclude that the job isn’t for you. There is no point in wasting your time or the employers in applying for vacancies that you are not suitable for and have no realistic chance of getting. You should only apply for those openings that you are qualified for. The silver lining in this type of scenario and in discovering that you are not fit for a particular role is that you will save yourself valuable time that you can use to apply for jobs you have a realistic chance of getting. Click here job descriptions for more details of specific roles and duties.
This will go at the beginning or top of your CV and have the same purpose as a covering letter, in fact it can be considered as a minor cover letter. It is sometimes also known as a profile or career summary, and you should consider it as an opportunity to:
show off your communication skills.
mention points that are not given in the rest of your CV.
encourage the employer to keep reading the rest of your CV.
A good summary is one that reads naturally, which in turn will make you shine and therefore give your application more impact. It can be a critical factor in helping to get you invited to an interview.
Summaries should be a short statements of no more than say three paragraphs or 200 words, which quickly highlights to a potential employer your most relevant skills, strengths and qualifications.
As a personal summary will be the first thing a recruiter sees and reads it needs to attract their immediate attention by being informative, well written, concise and focused. It’s aim is to immediately connect with the employer and encourage them to read the rest of the curriculum vitae.
A word of caution, just as an engaging personal summary can get you noticed, a badly written one can have the opposite effect by turning off the recruiter and getting your resume rejected.
Write a well thought out and compelling statement by focusing on the key requirements that the employer is looking for in a candidate. Use powerful industry specific keywords and phrases to quickly highlight your relevant work experience and abilities.
Where to start
Initially start with a sentence that very briefly explains who you are, for instance:
”A highly focused, resourceful and goals orientated sales executive with vast experience in marketing financial products”.
This sort of statement immediately gives the reader an idea of where you are coming form. Follow it up with more information on how your work experience, knowledge and abilities can be useful to the employers company.
What to write at the end
At the end of your summary (again in one sentence) state your career aims, what sort of position you are looking for and with what sort of company. Here is an example of how to close your personal summary:
”Currently looking for a suitable sales managerial position with an ambitious and exciting financial services company”.
Tips when writing a personal summary:
Always write a personal summary as the third person, never as the first person. The employer knows that it is you who has written the CV and by writing it as the third person you can save yourself having to continuously repeat the phrase ‘I am….’. Below are some examples of writing as a third person is:
’A committed, competent and very capable sales assistant who has over ….’
An example of writing as a first person is (which you should not use):
’I am a hard working individual and am good at closing sales’
Another good tip is to write your personal summary and then leave it for a few hours or a day and then read it out loudly to yourself. By doing this you will be able to see if it sounds natural and reads right. Constantly make minor changes to make it as perfect as possible.
It is always best to write a new summary for each job that you apply to, never use the same one for every vacancy.
Always get straight to the point, and try not to ramble.
What to mention in a personal summary
Your strongest skills that match the requirements of the job role.
Any special work related awards or distinctions that you may have achieved.
Try to clearly explain what you can bring to the job.
Try to use buzzwords that are related to the job role, however do not over do, only use a maximum of three.
What not to mention in a personal summary:
Do not write about the salary you are looking for or expect.
Your hopes for personal enhancement or promotion with the company. You may be ambitious but this is not the place to bring up this topic.
Do not mention points that you can list in the rest of your CV or in a covering letter. For instance your academic qualifications or the names of your current or previous employer.
WORK EXPERIENCE AND CAREER HISTORY
This is an important part of your CV as you will be firstly trying to show and describe to an employer what you have done and achieved in your career and secondly what useful skills you have that they could use.
Only include detailed descriptions of your current and last employers, for companies you worked for prior to the last two you only need to list their name, your job title and your employment dates.
Remember to save space and make yourself more attractive and marketable by presenting only relevant facts and keeping unnecessary information to a minimum. Have a priority of showing your achievements over any daily routine tasks you performed. When describing your work duties try to make them sound interesting by using dynamic power words and not boring clichés. It goes without saying that you should only give positive and successful examples of what you have done or achieved.
No matter what industry sector you are in or what job role you are applying for, when writing about your work experience always try to give examples that show your involvement in or ability to:
work as part of a team
Use positive words
When describing your achievements use ‘action verbs’ like:
To capture the recruiters imagination and give them a picture of you also include a certain amount of industry jargon and buzzwords, these can also demonstrate that you know what’s going on in your industry.
Do not use words that show failure or that can create a negative impression. Examples of words to avoid are:
Using bullet points to emphasis points
Consider these as they are a good way to organize and clearly layout short sentences. Keep your sentences brief (try to limit them to one line each) and to the point, here are two examples of how to start sentences that describes your work duties:
Responsible for the leading a team that successfully increased sales by 30% over a 6 month period.
Making sure that all administrative tasks were completed accurately and on time.
Company names and employment dates
Start with your present or most recent employer and work backwards, give their name and dates of the period you were employed by each company. There is no real need to mention their location unless you feel it is necessary and relevant to the job, for instance if you were working overseas etc. Next to or below the employers name you should write your job title. Also give your employment dates, more specifically just the month and year you started and when your employment ended. To make this section stand out you can make them bold, italic or in capitals. Here is an example of how they should be displayed:
’Barlow Financial Services Jun 2008 – May 2010
There is no need to include the employers address, email, website or telephone number. If required you can provide these at a later date.
Gaps in your career history
Try not to leave any gaps in your career as they could raise suspicions in a potential employer. If you do have career breaks and you get to the interview stage then you will almost certainly be asked about them and will have to explain them at that stage.
You need only worry about recent gaps and not those say 10 years ago.
The best policy is to always be truthful with career gaps, if you have been traveling around the world for the last 12 months then say so. Explain briefly what happened, do not go into lengthy explanations, you will have an opportunity to explain it in more detail at the interview stage. Click here explaining career gaps to read more about this subject.
Writing about past and present employers
The golden rules are firstly to never criticize your past or present employer. Secondly keep focused on showing any promotions, relevant skills and key achievements. This could be you reducing company expenditure significantly by say finding a cheaper supplier, or maybe you have increased sales by 30%, whatever it is shout about it.
Also remember that if you successfully reach the interview stage then you will almost certainly be questioned on your past work experience. So make it accurate and truthful, as you may have to prove any claims you have made.
Do not to include commercially sensitive information about your current or previous employers. This can make you appear untrustworthy and unreliable.
As space in your CV is limited only write in detail about your present and last job. If you are not currently in work then concentrate on your last two jobs. Avoid explaining your duties and responsibilities so that they sound like job descriptions.
When describing your duties for a current employer always use the current tense, for instance:-
’Responsible for monitoring the performance of junior staff’
However when writing about previous employers you should use the past tense, like this example:-
’Ensured that all junior employees were monitored and trained adequately’.
There is no need to mention how much you are being paid by your present employer or were paid by previous employers.
Make sure the facts and information you give in your CV are as accurate as possible, as if the recruiter uncovers and lies or falsehoods then your application will almost certainly be rejected immediately.
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
This is often the most convenient way an employer can contact you, so have a sensible and professional sounding one. After spending hours writing a professional and attention grabbing resume the last thing you want to do is create a impression of immaturity by having a silly email address. Here are some examples of the types of email addresses you SHOULD NOT have:
LYING IN YOUR CV
Trying to promote yourself in a curriculum vitae by lying is not only unethical but is also not a good idea for a number of reasons, least of all the high probability of being found out in any vetting process.
First of all you should not underestimate the ability of employers to catch you out, remember experienced hiring managers have see it all before and know the key areas that people are most likely to tell fibs about. In the Internet age the truth can be very easily and quickly uncovered.
Also remember that any lies you have told can catch up with you years later when you are well into a career you have deceitfully obtained. There are many instances of established employees being suddenly dismissed after evidence has emerged showing fake qualifications or credentials.
The consequences of getting caught are serious and can lead to:
Any job application being immediately rejected.
Your name potentially blacklisted by prominent companies.
Immediate dismissal if your found out after you have secured a job.
In extreme cases even imprisonment.
Why some people falsify their CVs
Most lies are told in the initial job application form or in a CV with the aim of securing a interview. To the perpetrator it seems harmless, innocuous and a risk worth taking to make them look good. Lying can be anything from omitting certain key facts, white lies, small fibs right the way through to full on fraud. The problem is that if a candidate is successful in winning a interview then they may still have to prove and provide evidence to back up their claims during or after the interview and this is where they can get caught out.
It is not uncommon to find people who will have been lying in their job applications throughout their careers and getting away with it. With some people even boasting to close friends about what they have done. It is not a habit to be encouraged and it goes without saying that if your lie (no matter how small or insignificant) is discovered then you will almost certainly be dismissed.
The most common falsehoods in CV or job application are:
Falsifying educational qualifications (degrees you haven’t achieved or claiming higher grades and only providing copies of certificates).
Hiding career gaps.
Dates of employment.
Being fired from a previous job.
Inflating a previous job title or position.
Levels of responsibility in previous employment.
Hiding criminal records or prison sentences.
Exaggerating the salary of a previous job (sales people sometimes do this by combining their salary and bonus together)
Work experience and skill sets.
Reasons for leaving previous employment.
Lying about your age.
Personal interests and hobbies.
Ability to speak a foreign language.
How employers can catch out candidates who have inflated their CVs
Apart from contacting and checking your references they may also write to your previous employers or educational institutions asking them to confirm your employment history or academic qualifications. Any discrepancies discovered will be flagged up and investigated further. Your applications will then either be immediately binned or you will be asked to explain the discrepancy. Employers may also:
Hire specialist companies to conduct background checks.
Ask for proof of your claims i.e. documentation, original certificates etc.
Ask probing questions and thereby catch out an applicant may have stated something on their CV but at a interview say something entirely different.
Write to your previous employers.
Write to your old college or university.
Carry out CRB (Criminal Reference Bureau) checks.
Mandatory checks by employers
In certain industries like the financial sector, police, prison service or when working with children or vulnerable people employers are required by law to carry on rigid checks on all new staff. If you have been economical with the truth you are almost certain to be found out during these strict screening processes.
Worst case scenarios
In certain cases lying of any sort in a application can lead to accusations of fraud or deception. It is not unknown for some aggrieved employers to bring criminal charges against ex-employees who gained employment through false pretences. Depending on the severity of the allegations this has led in some cases to prison sentences for the perpetrators.
Why honesty is the best practise
Applicants who resort to lying obviously hope that they will get away with it. But even if they do initially and are hired they will still have to live with the daily risk, uncertainty and stress of knowing what they have done is wrong. Not only that, they will constantly have on their minds the fear of being found out as a liar, and the inevitable dismissal and humiliation that will follow.
These days most employers will screen and carry out detailed checks on a potential employees. With the help of the Internet, specialist companies and other investigative tools they can easily find out if you have omitted, exaggerated or left out certain facts.
REFERENCES FOR YOUR CV
If you have attended an interview, successfully passed it and are now at the stage where you are seriously being considered for the position, then you have to start thinking about providing reputable references. The people you select for this should be handpicked individuals who must say complimentary things about you and confirm your credentials.
Remember that if an employer asks you to provide references then they will almost certainly contact them. For this reason it is always best to be prepared and have three to four good references ready for when you need them. It will save you rushing around at the last minute trying to find suitable people.
The two main types of references you could provide a prospective employer are either character or professional ones. Both of these are important as they may be the final hurdle to clinching a job.
Finding suitable references
Start by making a list of potential and suitable referees, depending on whether you want personal or professional referees these could be:
Current or past work colleagues.
Supervisors or managers.
Teachers and lecturers.
Professional associates i.e. your GP etc.
Once you have created a shortlist then start to contact these individuals and ask them if they would consider being a reference for you. Remember that some of them may decline (for whatever reason) and refuse to act on your behalf, so it’s best to have a long list to work through. Only use references who have given you their permission.
What to say to a prospective reference
Explain your situation to the ones who have agreed to help you and confirm that they are willing to attest to your capabilities. Inform them what role you have applied for and the name of any employer or employers who may contact them.
Ask them how they would prefer to be contacted for instance at work, home phone, mobile, email or in writing. Also confirm with them the best time to be contacted i.e. afternoon or evening. This is an important point to clarify with them for two reasons. Firstly the last thing you want is for prospective employers to be unable to get hold of your reference because they are away on holiday etc. Secondly some referees may not want to be contacted at work (for obvious reasons) or be disturbed at home when they are with their family.
Explain and confirm what you would like them to say (and why) when they are contacted, so that what you both say is in unison. There is good reason to go over these points. You will be surprised at how many lifelong friends or associates do not know exactly how long they have known each other for. It is not worth the risk of having short discrepancies ruin your chances of getting a job. Others areas to cover include:
Is your relationship professional or social.
How you met.
Where you met.
Also mention the role you have applied for and if possible the name of the person who may contact them. If you have applied for more than one job then tell them, as they may receive more than one enquiry.
To summarize, you need to confirm the following information with a referee:
Current job title or position.
Their home address.
Keep your references up to date
People move, change jobs, phone numbers and addresses. So it’s important that you keep in touch with them to ensure you have current and up to date information on them. Avoid the nightmare scenario of getting through all the job hunting stages and being held back because no one could get hold of the references you provided.
References from previous employers
Present or previous employers may refuse to write a reference for you out of fear of litigation. Most are only willing to confirm your job title and employment dates.
These are essentially statements written and dated beforehand by a referee that can be shown to recruiters. The problem is that many employers may not accept them and still insist on contacting the references directly.
How will employers contact a referee?
Ideally they should only contact the referees via their preferred method and at a time that is convenient for them. It’s important to mention both of these points to employers so as to ensure there is no misunderstanding.
What questions will a personal or character reference be asked?
Below are some areas that they may ask about you:
How can a referee answer a difficult or awkward question?
A simple statement like ‘I am unable to discuss John Smiths time with the company’ should suffice.
A reference should NEVER answer a question by saying ‘no comment’, this can create an immediate negative impression.
Listing you references in your CV
It is not advisable to list the full contact details of your references in the main body of your CV. Common practise is to have a short statement such as:
’REFERENCES – Available on request’.
There are a number of reasons for this, the main ones being that it saves space on your CV and it’s also good practise to not unnecessarily advertise a referees personal details on potentially dozens of CVs you send out. It’s much better to only supply confidential contact information to serious employers who have requested it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD GRAMMAR IN A CV
How you write can say a lot about you and your abilities. No matter how qualified you are the lack of attention you pay to drafting and editing your CV can be your downfall. Poor grammar, typographical mistakes, and incorrect or weak vocabulary can get your job application rejected just as easily as the lack of relevant skills or experience. With the advent of mobile texting and social network sites some people have forgotten that there are certain rules when writing professionally.
Remember that a candidates CV is supposed to be polished and formal. If it has not been written, read and edited professionally then it is likely to be peppered with improper grammar that will put it at an immediate disadvantage.
Strong writing skills and a good command of English are a valuable and key asset to have when job hunting.
Common grammatical mistakes that can create a negative image:
Run on sentences
This is when two or more sentences are joined or connected together without the correct punctuation. It is almost always judged to be a mistake. Here is an example of a run on sentence:
’It is nearly eleven o’clock I cannot reach home by midnight’
Ideally there should be conjunction between the words ‘o’clock’ and ‘I’. Or a separate sentence should be created.
This is one of the most common mistakes when using a comma. It happens when just a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. Here are some examples:
‘Alan is friendly with everyone, he is a very caring individual’.
‘I came, I saw, I conquered’.
Occurs when similar grammatical words or construction is used to describe similar content or objective. When writing you should try to avoid the repetition of words, phrases and meanings. Here are some examples or parallelism:
‘Alan thought that the football match was boring, slow and went on for too long’
’James collected his bag, James collected his hat, James collected his umbrella’
Lack of verb agreement
The subject being written about must agree with the verb. Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs. Examples of this are:
’My friend is a doctor’.
’My brothers are footballers’.
Quiet simply these are typographical or spelling errors. A example of this is writing ‘breakin’ instead of ‘breaking’.
Improper use of an apostrophe
These are punctuation marks and are also known as raised commas. Apostrophes are used to show possession and to punctuate contractions. Examples of this are:
’The pen of the office worker fell off his desk’ this can be rewritten as ‘the office worker’s pen fell off his desk’.
’It is a very warm day’ can be written as ‘It’s a very warm day’.
These are function words used to replace nouns, they can help to make a sentence less repetitive. There are many various types, but here is a example of a reference pronoun error:
‘Laura and Helen went swimming, but she couldn’t swim’. In this sentence you do not know if ‘she’ refers to Laura or Helen. The proper way to write the sentence would be ‘Laura and Helen went swimming, but Laura couldn’t swim’.
Another common mistake is using the lower case 'i' for the personal pronoun, for instance: "i would like to apply for this job"
This should be avoided at all cost.
These are incomplete or pieces of sentences that do not sound right. Although sentences are frequently fragmented in everyday speech, this should not be done when writing. Here is a examples of a fragmented sentence:
This should be written as a full sentence i.e. ‘I want to go to the park today’.
Past tense error.
Using language and words that describe events that have happened in the past, when in fact you want the sentence to describe the present. Examples are:
’I was responsible for…’
When it should read ‘I am responsible for…’
A modifier is a word or phrase that are used to describe a particular subject or point. However a misplaced modifier is not placed close to the word it is supposed to modify.
Other common errors are:
Deciding when to use ‘me’ or ‘I’.
When to use ‘a’ or ‘an’.
Deciding whether to use i.e. or e.g.
Using they're instead of their or there.
You're instead of your.
How bad grammar can damage your job application:
It can ruin your credibility and create a immediate bad impression. .
Expose you as a bad communicators.
Hiring managers can make snap judgments based on a poorly written CV.
Portray you as someone who is sloppy.
A job application can be quickly discarded is the grammar is poor.
Good grammar can improve your CV by:
Showing you as a competent candidate.
Making you stand out from other candidates who have poor grammar.
Inspiring confidence in you.
Helping you get your message across and explaining it’s exact meaning.
Making your CV more understandable.
Allowing you to communicate better with your audience.
Tips on improving your grammar and punctuation
Improving the structure of a sentence is essential to helping give it meaning.
Keep it simple, focus it on it’s subject and ensure it contains only one clause. To make it more meaningful you should add transitional phrases to help connect it to the surrounding sentences. Once you have mastered writing good sentences then it is possible to write excellent CVs that contain good sentence variety and are perfectly suitable for job applications. Below are the different sentence structures you can choose from:-
The simple sentence
These have just one clause, subject and verb. It is sometimes referred to as an independent clause. A example of this is ‘James like to go for a run in the morning’.
The compound sentence
These tend to contain two clauses which are joined together by a coordinator. These sentences also tend to contain a comma.
The complex sentence
These will have one main clause which is joined by one or more minor or dependant clauses.
Use these to quickly highlight errors. If you are British then make sure your spell checker is set to UK English. Otherwise you will get color instead of colour etc.
Tips on building a sentence
A complete sentence contains a group of words about a subject. Each one contains a clause (part of a sentence) and starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.
Make sure that your sentence contains at least one adjective or adverb (or both).
Try not to repeat words unnecessarily in it.
Use apostrophes to show ownership of something.
Use quotation marks to show what someone has said directly.
Insert a colon ‘;’ before describing a list of things or words.
MAKING YOUR CV COMPUTER AND SEARCH FRIENDLY
If your CV does not contain the keywords that a recruiter is searching for then it will never be found.
In today’s super competitive jobs market it’s important to use every trick in the book to gain that extra edge. In the old days a CV was written or typed on paper and sent to a prospective employer through the post. The CVs of the best candidates were then filed and stored manually for future use or reference. However over the last decade the process of applying for a job has changed considerably.
These days a candidate is just as likely to send their CV electronically via email. This method is a lot simpler and easier for job seekers, as with a click of a mouse they can apply for dozens of jobs within a hour. The downside of this is that recruiters can typically receive 100’s of applications for a single job that they advertise.
One way many employers deal with this information overload is to store, sort and organize the CVs they receive on a computer database for current and future use.
This has resulted in many large recruitment agencies and national companies now having huge databases that contain the records and personal details of hundreds of thousands of candidates.
Hiring manager use special resume scanning software to sift through and search this bank of potential candidates for suitable ones. This software will scan the database looking for keywords and phrases that are specific and relevant to a particular job role.
Also remember that if you send in a paper CV (hard copy) to a recruiter and they like it, then it will probably be manually scanned, turned into a electronic resume and stored.
To the job seeker this means having to write a electronic CV that not only appeals to the reader but is also computer and search friendly at the same time. There are no shortcuts to doing this. A good place to start is by focusing on two fundamental areas:
Your keyword strategy.
Resume formatting that is computer friendly.
If your CV is not correctly optimized then there is a real risk that all the hard work you have put into writing it could potentially count for nothing.
Tips on making your CV more electronically searchable:
Use job relevant and industry specific keywords
Ensure you come up in any best matches by researching the job roles that you are interested in and finding winning keywords that are certain to be searched for. Read job adverts and description and create a list of the most common words used in them to describe the desired skills, technical knowledge, achievements, work duties, industry jargon and personality traits for your target vacancy. Do not plaster these buzz words everywhere, to maximize their effect and get past the gatekeeper sprinkle them in well written descriptive sentences.
Photocopied and faxed CVs
If you are sending in a hard copy paper version of your CV then make sure it if the original and not a photocopy. Copies are not as clear as originals and can be much harder to scan, resulting in vital keywords of yours can be missed or left out.
Use plain white paper
Do not send your CV on coloured paper as these can also be difficult to scan.
Use a high resolution laser printer. The clearer a document is the better a scanner can read it.
Graphics and fonts in your CV
Avoid using images, underlining, italics, bold, elaborate shading, brackets or fancy fonts as all of these can impede scanning.
Fonts and their size
Use popular common typefaces (i.e. Courier, Arial or Times New Roman) and keep the font size to between 10 and 12.
Folded or creased paper
When sending your resume through the post try to use a hard backed envelope. The last thing you want is your resume arriving crumpled up and creased. Also refrain from folding it or using staples as both of these can hinder the scanning process.
Put your most important information at the beginning
Some scanning software and database search tools will only read the first page or stop reading a CV after a certain number of words. So focus on putting your most relevant keywords and phrases at the start of your CV.
Most employers but specifically recruitment agencies prefer to receive resumes as Microsoft Word documents, others will accept PDF formats etc. It is however advisable to create and submit your CV in MS Word format.
Should you send a paper CV or a electronic / digital one?
If you are not entirely sure about this then call up the company and ask them which one they would prefer.
Your resume CAN be longer than two pages
If you are specifically sending a CV to be stored electronically on a computer database, then it can be longer than the recommended two pages. Whereas a person reading a five page CV may be ‘turned of’ by it, scanning and search software will not. Put as much relevant information on it as you like.
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