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The average recruiter spends about seven seconds deciding whether to reject or accept a CV. So how do you make yours stand out? Here are some helpful tips to boost your chances of getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process.
Do your research
Research job profiles and pay attention to the list of requirements: you’ll want to tailor your CV so that the language used matches the requirements for the roles you are applying for. When putting together an application, make sure you go back to the job description and tweak your CV to show that you meet all the requirements.
First impressions count
The first thing that a recruiter will see upon opening your CV is the top half of the first page. If you don’t include information which matches the job description here, you risk having your CV consigned to the ‘no’ pile before it has even been read in full. Include a brief personal statement here which outlines your key skills and achievements.
Recruiters are often short on time, so limit your CV to two pages maximum. Keep your employment history relevant to the role you’re applying for, with longer bullet-pointed lists for more relevant past roles and fewer details for those that aren’t.
Be skim-reader friendly
Make your CV easy to navigate, with your contact details highly visible and easy to find, and the rest of your CV divided into sections. Use a reader-friendly font such as Arial or Tahoma, and break text up into bullet points in the present tense for your current role and the past tense for all previous positions.
Focus on achievements
Don’t be tempted to list all your responsibilities in your current job, focus instead on your achievements and the impact you’ve had on the company or organisation you’re working for.
The ‘Interests’ section may form the last part of your CV, but it will most likely be read. This can provide a talking point any future interviews, and including details here is more likely to make you a memorable candidate.
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile
Including a link to your web profile or a blog makes life easy for the recruiter, and allows them to keep up to date if they revisit your CV months down the line.
If you can quantify your achievements with figures or percentages, then doing so will likely impress the reader. This is a great way to show that you would be valuable to the company.
Ask friends and family to read through and comment on your CV before you send it off. They’re more likely to spot spelling errors or typos, and they might be able to give you some helpful constructive criticism.
Stick to the truth
It may be tempting to embellish certain aspects of your career or educational achievements, but remember that the truth can easily come out within a simple reference check.
If you’re considering new opportunities in the life sciences, semiconductor or engineering sectors, you can upload your CV here to receive feedback from our specialist recruitment consultants.