7 Tips for the Perfect CV

You are on your way to getting that degree and you finally think it’s about time you start sending in your CV to potential employers. Before you do, please let me tell you how long employers spend on a resume, according to a study by a reputable online job-matching company. Six seconds. No, this is not a typo. Employers spend six seconds on a CV before they can decide to shortlist it or throw it away. Scary? I know, but fret not. Here are a few crucial tips which will ensure your CV is set apart from the crowd.

1. Make it look good. Think about it. Hundreds of individuals with the same qualification as you are applying for the very same position. First impressions are everything. Make sure that your CV is not too wordy and uses bullet points. Make it simple but professional. Use fonts such as Ariel or Calibri and make sure the font size is 11 or 12 points.

2. Sell yourself! Employers are not looking for someone with six months or one-year experience in marketing. They want to know what you learnt whilst filling such a position and how your experience is going to benefit the company. So instead of stating: “worked as a marketer for one year”, rather say: “Acquired the following skills while working as a marketer for one year:”, then go on and state the skills which you know will come in handy for the position you’re applying for. Remember that your CV is the bridge between you and your employer, so make sure it represents you well.

3. The more you say, the less your chances of being shortlisted. Employers are not looking for someone who beats around the bush. Get straight to the point and state only what is relevant to the position. Your CV should be 1-2 one-sided pages. Your employer goes through more CVs than that 40 page reading you’ve been avoiding so please be merciful.

4. Get some qualification! Get a degree or any relevant qualification to backup your claims of being good with numbers or being able to write better than Shakespeare himself. Employers need proof that they will not be throwing money out of the window by hiring you, so use your grades – good grades hopefully, to show them that you have what it takes.

5. Be accessible. Make sure that you provide the right contact details. If you do not have a phone yet, please rather just use your emails and make sure to check your inbox as often as you would a phone.

6. Credibility is key. While your marks provide some intellectual proof that you are who you claim to be, your references are crucial in helping your employer make the final decision on whether or not they should consider hiring you. Use professional references such as those of your past position(s). If you have not worked yet, use people who know you and whom you can trust. However, friends and families are not recommended so think about the people you  volunteered with over the past holidays. Those should definitely help you.

7. One size DOES NOT fit all. Have a look at the job advertisement and understand what your potential employer is looking for in order to compile a CV which addresses the needs of your employer.

One golden ethical rule is to be truthful. Let your CV showcase your strengths and abilities but do not add skills and qualifications which you do not possess for the sake of being offered the position. Think about it; you could be given the job but you will also be expected to be that person you claimed to be, so you might as well be truthful to avoid any embarrassment. Just saying.