So, you are ready to get your new job in London and you are about to write your CV, but there are so many ideas out there as to what a CV should look like and include. Let us help to clarify a few things for you!
CV Tip 1 – Know Your Audience
First thing is first, know your audience. You may be new to London so things might be a little different to what you are used to, so look at what a standard CV should look like and start from there.
Each industry is different, for example a CV within marketing is expected to show a bit more of a creative flare and even be a bit quirky at times, whereas for office support roles like the ones Australasian Recruitment Company specialise in, we look for a more straightforward format. Don’t worry too much about the format for recruitment agencies as usually a recruitment agency will reformat your CV before presenting it to a client anyway.
CV Tip 2 – Be Clear and Concise
You may feel like you want to fit in as much information on your CV as possible but could end up with a jumble of words which may not showcase you in the best way. Avoid this at all costs, it is important to be clear and concise. The interview is the place where you can tell all but for now you have limited space to convey a very important message.
Ensure you only include information that is relevant to the role you are applying for. Stating your kitchen cleaning skills probably isn’t something you want to fill your CV with for a marketing role. This could mean that you may need to amend your CV for each role or industry you are applying to. Time consuming? Yes. Effective? Definitely!
CV Tip 3 – Layout
We recommend you keep your CV between 2-3 pages long and only refer to relevant information. It can be tempting to produce a long CV that includes everything you have ever done but keep in mind that potential employers will be reading thousands of CVs, so this does not work in your favour.
One way you can help keep your CV clear and concise is to use subheadings, don’t squash too much information into these areas though and do not double up on information.
CV Tip 4 – Language
Use correct language, not layman’s terms. Instead of listing a load of generic skills like ‘leadership’, incorporate these into your responsibilities on your employment history. Give examples of how you did this like ‘coordinated a team of five people to achieve the desired result’ and show that you can demonstrate the skill. In your interview they will most likely ask you for examples of these skills anyway so it is best to list them in your CV briefly. As a recruitment agency we mostly look at your past responsibilities and prefer sentences instead of single words so also keep this in mind.
CV Tip 5 – Cover Letter
Some people think that a cover letter is unnecessary unless requested, but it is quite the opposite where you should only exclude a cover letter if told to. A cover letter is your chance to tell the company about yourself and not just look like facts on a document. You can also use this as a place to express your intentions, goals, personality and why you should be there.
CV Tip 6 – Triple Check
We are sure you know this but we will say it again for you, triple check your CV for spelling and grammar! Have at least one other person check it for you as well. You would be surprised how many mistakes spell check will not pick up on and this is the worst mistake you could make in any job application.
CV Tip 7 – Do it Yourself
As I am sure you know there are services out there offering CV writing. We do not encourage you to go down this route because no one knows your story as well as you do and prospective employers want to hear how you describe yourself, not how others would. If you pay someone to write your CV who has written thousands of CVs, they probably can’t make each individual unique, but your brain is fresh and knows what makes you unique, so save yourself some money and get typing.
CV Tip 8 – Your CV is Just the Beginning
You are obviously determined to ensure your CV is perfect or you wouldn’t be on our blog right now, so why let anything else get in the way. Social media is an extension of your CV and it will most likely be checked so don’t ignore it. It is important to not let your prospective boss see you in any compromising photos. Be careful what you post, or at minimum keep your profile on private and ensure your cover and profile photo are appropriate for anyone to see.
Social media isn’t all negative when it comes to your job search, LinkedIn can be extremely beneficial. Make sure you utilise LinkedIn as much as possible and keep your information and job history updated. Most London professionals have a LinkedIn account and this is becoming an increasingly used tool for job searching.
CV Tip 9 – You Are the Product
You are the product; would you buy you if you read the product description? This is your time to sell yourself as best you can with a few words on paper. The harsh reality is that a CV lacking in effort will not get you into the company of your dreams, because in London it is most likely a hundred other people’s dream company too. Put in a bit of effort in order to stand out.
CV Tip 10 – Enjoy the Process!
We know it can get frustrating when you are on the hunt for work, especially if you are diligently tailoring your CV for the roles you are applying for. Try to remember that this will seem such a small amount of time once you are working in that amazing job you land, so try to enjoy the process while you are in it. Your enthusiasm will be reflected in the work you produce and will especially help you once you secure an interview.
Now go and put that perfect CV together and send it through to firstname.lastname@example.org to start the journey towards the job of your dreams.
Speak to you soon!
The Australasian Team