Looking for a new job? Your curriculum vitae (CV) can either propel you to success or leave you in the shadows. Below is a list of factors to consider when creating a CV for a job application.
Tailor your CV for each Job
The one-size-fits-all approach is outdated. Your CV needs to be tailored to each application by incorporating keywords from the job description, however, your CV shouldn't read like a job description with the same day-to-day activities. Each role you have been in should be different as no two jobs are the same, use this to your benefit! Focus on the last decade of your employment history or experiences that directly relate to the position you're applying for.
Design & Personal information
Your CV isn't just about content; it's also a visual representation of your professionalism. Opt for a clean, professional layout with consistent font styles. Online platforms like Canva offer free templates if you're struggling. Include up-to-date contact details and a glimpse into your personality through brief mentions of hobbies and interests. Steer clear of irrelevant personal details, such as marital status and religion, that won't contribute to your application. Consider the role you're applying for before including a photo, in the UK this is normally not encouraged. For businesses, inclusivity plays a crucial factor in both culture and society. By not including a photo, it can help avoid biases based on appearance. Your skills and accomplishments should take the spotlight. Try to get all of your information onto a two-sided page of A4. This demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively and prioritise information whilst showcasing your skills and experiences.
LinkedIn and Social Media Presence
Incorporate a link to your LinkedIn profile, ensuring it's polished and aligns with your CV. Depending on the industry, consider including links to relevant social media handles or an online portfolio which your work.
Crafting a Compelling CV
Your CV profile sets the tone. 4 to 6 sentences summarising your work experience, key skills, and aspirations should suffice. Avoid generic buzzwords; instead, focus on tangible achievements that set you apart from other candidates. Tailor your skills section to the job description. Avoid generic terms; emphasize skills directly relevant to the position you're applying for. This not only demonstrates your suitability but also catches the recruiter's eye. Try to trim your employment history to the last 5-6 positions, focusing on measurable achievements. Use quantifiable data to showcase your impact in previous roles, providing context to your skills.
In the digital age, references needn't take up space on your CV. Use this space for your skills and accomplishments. References can be provided when requested during the later stages of the hiring process.
Attachments or Website
Consider the application process. While some companies prefer attachments, others may encourage links to online portfolios. Tailor your approach based on industry norms and the specific requirements of the role.
No Work Experience & Career Gaps
If you are a graduate, there's a strong possibility that you have no relevant work experience. Instead highlight skills gained through education, extracurricular activities, or volunteer work. Showcase achievements and transferable skills that demonstrate your readiness for the workforce. As for gaps in your CV, life happens. Career gaps are more common than you might think. Be transparent during an interview, acknowledging gaps briefly and redirecting the focus to your skills and abilities that make you an asset to the team.
Before hitting send, proofread your CV. Ensure consistency in tense and leverage tools like Grammarly to catch any overlooked errors. A polished CV reflects attention to detail and professionalism.
Sarah Want, Team Manager, Horticulture & Agriculture comments;
When I joined MorePeople, I was surprised at how quickly people skim-read through a CV to assess suitability. This is across any hiring managers, HR and recruiters alike. With this in mind, it’s so important to get the relevant stuff at the top of the CV. Always write your work history starting at your most recent, working backwards. Highlight education and relevant qualifications at the beginning. In Horticulture, I always look to see RHS, PA1 and Horticulture qualification first. And please, tailor your CV! If you’re applying for a certain position, make sure your personal summary paragraph is relevant to that role.