How do I know if my CV is working?
By Jen David
Is your CV getting the job done?
If you’ve spent hours creating your perfect CV and are eagerly awaiting the next step in your career, you need to be sure that you’re going to get the results you’re after. The fundamental purpose of your CV is to grab a recruiter’s interest enough for them to invite you to an interview, so here we examine key questions to ask yourself to ensure that your CV will achieve that ultimate aim.
Is your CV aligned with best practice and avoiding key CV sins?
Your CV could be headed straight for the reject pile if you’re using out-of-date guidelines or a format that doesn’t account for applicant tracking system requirements. A TopResume survey of the top 10 CV deal-breakers identified dire issues ranging from typos and grammar mistakes to keyword stuffing and failure to include quantifiable results. Make sure you’re well acquainted with current CV best practice by reading through our career guides on the topic.
Have you included all relevant information?
As a bare minimum, a recruiter will expect to see contact details, career history and relevant qualifications. But the bare minimum never impressed anyone! Go the extra mile by aligning the CV vocabulary with keywords from relevant job adverts and adding information on voluntary work, professional accreditations and courses, language skills, and organisational affiliations. Don’t forget that the recruiter will expect you to have an online presence, so supporting your CV with a well-written LinkedIn profile is also vital.
Do you have previous experience in the industry or a similar role?
Make sure that you’ve highlighted any previous industry knowledge, plus experience gained in similar roles. This is particularly important for career changers and those returning to work after a break. If you have neither role nor industry experience relevant to your target job, you’ll need to focus heavily on your transferable skills to prove that you’d be a good fit.
Have you tailored your CV to the role you’re applying to?
A one-size-fits-all, scattergun approach rarely works in today’s job market. Your CV must be changed to meet the requirements of each role and company so that each application is bespoke. The easiest way to achieve this is to create a master CV, which you then tweak slightly for each new role you apply for. Sure, it takes a bit of time, but it’s worth it if the CV generates more responses.
Are you being invited for interviews?
As we mentioned at the beginning, the ultimate purpose of a CV is to secure an interview, and this is the only way to tell if your CV is actually working. If you’re firing off your CV to multiple employers and then watching as the tumbleweed rolls by, it’s time to take action. A fresh, expert perspective can transform your CV and save you from pouring even more time into the task, so rather than reworking the same tired ideas yet again, consider engaging the services of a professional CV writer.
The job market is competitive, but a well-written CV will generate the interest you’re looking for. Professional CV writers can support you with their in-depth knowledge of best practice, recruitment processes and ATS requirements, applied in a focused way to your experience and skills, to deliver a high-impact CV that works.
Click here to learn more about getting a professional CV rewrite.