First impressions are everything. The old saying “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” is very true when it comes to your CV and looking for work. It can set the tone for your job application and, you should remember that a negative first impression can be impossible to reverse or undo.
When it comes to applying for jobs, an employer’s initial view of you will be based on the layout of your CV. They will use it to decide whether to invite you to an interview, or not. It is therefore imperative that you get it right.
The visual look of your CV can help you stand out from others, keep the hiring manager reading and encourage them to put your CV in the ‘to read later’ pile.
You only get one chance to make that good first impression, so don’t waste it.
Five second window
It’s generally agreed that you as a candidate have up to five seconds in which to grab a prospective employer attention. Meaning a Hiring Manager will take a quick glance at what’s in front of them and decide very quickly where you are interview material or not.
How to grab the reader’s attention? – Answer its difficult….. but not impossible.
The simple answer is to be different and make your CV as visually appealing as possible. Here are some tips on how to do this;
An attractive layout
How you lay out your CV is just as important as what you write in it. By having a good layout you can impress the reader with your presentation and communication skills. You need to have a design that is attractive but not tacky.
Use subtle shades of colour to highlight key points of words. However don’t overdo it with colors that are too bright.
Fonts that are easy on the eye
Like Times New Roman, Arial and Calibri.
Short and sweet
Make sure it’s no longer than two pages. Employers do not have a lot of time to go through everything, they generally they skim through a document looking for key words and information. Remember your CV is there to get you an interview, not tell people your life story.
Easy to read
Keep sections, paragraphs and sentences spaced out and not crammed together. A crammed document with small text can put people off. Use the correct amount of line spacing and border margins to create the right look.
These make information easier to read. Consider using these instead of long winded paragraphs.
Try to sound upbeat and position.