So, you’ve applied for that perfect role, you’ve attached your CV, maybe a cover letter, but what happens next?
In a world of quick decisions, movers and shakers, there are a lot of different theories about what the perfect CV looks like. Let’s forget about perfection for a moment, and simply look at what will make your CV stand out from the crowd and get you noticed.
Typically, you only have a short time to make an impact – every detail matters
Recruiting is an expensive process. Businesses often pay up to 20% of your annual salary as a fee to the recruiter. With the pressure of introducing the right person to a business, and ensuring the candidate is matched to a role that suits them, recruiters need to be able to spot talent with only a small amount of information.
More often than not, a recruiter will have compiled a list of candidates from their existing network before looking at applications. Without a relationship with the recruiter you are going in blind, so you need to make sure your first impression is a good one.
How to stand out:
• Location – full address. You need to be close to the role location
• Contact details – a phone number is a minimum requirement
• Industry background – state the sectors you have worked in
• Your role/function/title – does this match the requirements of the job
• Include details of how recent your experience is
• Education/qualifications – if you are ACA/ACCA/CIMA mention it
• Explain your reasons for leaving previous jobs
• Ensure your CV is in chronological order
• Format – check spelling, grammar and spacing
• Font – keep it clear and don’t use hard-to-read italics
My advice is to pick up the phone and call the recruiter. This will give you extra valuable time to sell yourself and your experience in more detail. A conversation can be far more powerful than just a CV, and will often stick in the recruiters mind when they are shortlisting candidates.
Just remember that although recruitment is a 50/50 relationship – a candidate deserves the right role as much as an employer needs the right candidate – the recruitment process is typically built around minimising risk to the employer. So, market yourself effectively and take note of the list above; you will significantly increase your chances of being noticed.