What do employers look for in a CV?.
Think of your CV as a sales brochure that’s sole purpose is to get you in front of the interview panel, everything else comes later.
You might possess excellent qualifications and the most relevant experience, but it’s your CV that’s most important to an employer.
Every employer wants to get a good return on their investment in their staff, and taking on a new employee costs them their time and money, so you really need to show that you will fit right in with the company’s culture and the working environment.
That’s the reason you should tailor your CV for each specific job application.
First things first, no one will look at a messy CV so yours should be immaculate in its presentation, easy to follow and have a crystal clear description of yourself in simple, relevant language.
If you’re submitting a physical copy of your CV, you want it to stand out so use top quality white paper.
The average employer will spend about 30 seconds glancing at a CV and just the feel of good superior paper will impress and make an immediate impact.
Keep your content to a minimum, you do not want too many typed lines in one paragraph. Use bullet points where appropriate, avoid excessive jargon and stick to the two pages rule.
Organise your CV based on experience.
Remember that your CV will be scrutinised for what’s relevant to the role and show consistency, focus and stability.
When you list your skills keep them related to performing a job in a specific field or profession, such as accounting, programming or typing. Highlight the skills you gained in previous jobs.
Use common sense when detailing your working history, leave off jobs that you have held for a short duration, although you cannot leave gaps, most employers are only interested in the past 20 years.
Is there a significant gap in your employment history? Explain it in simple terms, and don’t lie, employers will always find out the truth.
List your qualifications in chronological order and highlight any outstanding awards. If you have achieved above your target or done something in recognition of your dedication such as ‘employee of the year’, shout about it!
Your education, skills and experience should illuminate your CV and mirror your suitability for the job. The most common attributes which employers look for are:
- You have the ability to learn new skills and are adaptable to change.
- The capability to work under pressure and possess effective communication skills.
- Reliable, trustworthy and a team player but can act on own initiative.
- You will fit into the company’s culture and maintain a positive attitude, as most employers will be looking for certain traits and their purpose is to determine whether you will contribute to the company and deliver.