Ten tips to enhance your CV

We recently spoke about the importance of getting your LinkedIn profile up to scratch – that’s step one, now optimising your CV is step two. Your CV is potentially the first impression you offer to a potential employer – to help get this right, we put together some top tips!

1. Tailor your CV for the job you want

It’s essential you’re amending your CV for each job you apply for. An obvious tip is to make sure you highlight the skills on your CV that match the job description. But you can go beyond this – take a look at the company’s website and social media channels. Does your CV paint a picture of someone who would fit in well in this environment? This is a great way to let the hiring manager know that you’re a strong fit for this company.

2. Order your career history in a way that makes sense

It’s standard practice to list career history in chronological order on your CV, and usually this is the best approach to take. But it’s important to use some common sense here. You might have jumped around jobs a little, which is fine. But, make sure your most relevant projects are the first thing your hiring manager will see. There’s no point in your first page being filled with positions irrelevant to the role you’re applying for.

3. Be concise – no one has time to read ten whole pages!

Common sense really is the key trait here; if you have so much experience that every word of your four page CV offers something of value then that’s fine. However, you’ll probably be able to trim your CV quite easily. Imagine it was you reading through application after application; you’re not going to have time to sift through every little detail – an overly long CV could even end up going straight into the bin. However, a concise CV demonstrates you’ve taken the time and effort to think about which skills are really necessary for the job you’re applying to.

4. Include the location you want to work

This might seem like a weird one – why would you apply for a job in a location you don’t want to work? But from a hiring manager’s perspective, if they get an application for a job in Liverpool from someone living in London, they may think you’ve just applied on a whim, or misread the location of the advert. If you’re looking to re-locate for a position, it’s not a bad idea to briefly reference in an opening statement.

5. Mirror the language used in the job advert

A bit of subliminal messaging can work a treat; if you adopt the language you see in the advert, you’re already showing that you’re a great fit for this role. This instantly offers the impression that you’ll fit in with the culture you’re applying for. 

6. Don’t be afraid to mention your hobbies

As long as you don’t go overboard on the detail, mentioning personal interests and hobbies isn’t a bad thing. A lot of people seem scared to do this, but if it’s relevant, and you want to mention it, then go for it! If you’re struggling to trim your words down though, this should probably be the first thing to cut. The golden rule is to think about the job you’re applying for; will putting your hobbies in make you more attractive to the hiring manager? If so, then pop them in.

7. Focus on the value you added as well as listing your responsibilities

Listing technical skills and experience is obviously crucial, but it’s equally important to make sure you explain the benefit your work has had on the company. Listing skills is great, but if you can contextualise your value and demonstrate just how your technical ability made an impact, then this is more powerful. You’re then offering more than just a shopping list of your abilities; you’re highlighting how your skills directly benefited your past employer.

8. Keep the layout neat

A tidy CV gives off a great impression… but a messy one? Not so much. Keep your font size consistent and try not to use three different typefaces in one document. A messy CV is a bad idea; it makes it look like you’ve put minimal effort in, and is the best way to get your CV thrown straight into the bin.

9. Make sure you explain gaps

Job hopping can often be looked on unfavourably within the job market. Gaps in your CV are fine – life happens. But you need to be able to contextualise it; don’t just leave an unexplained five year career break in your CV. You need to provide reasons for time away from work; if there was a personal circumstance that lead to time out, then don’t be afraid to include this.

10. Get someone to sense check your CV

After reading your own words over and over again, you can become numb to your own mistakes. It’s a good idea to get a friend or colleague to look over your CV; you’ll probably be surprised by the amount of errors they manage to find.

At Huxley, we put our expertise to use to make sure you’re prepared to impress at every step of the application process. To find out more about what partnering with Huxley really means for your career, get in touch with us.

What are the implications of UAE’s increasingly younger workforce?

10 Sep 2019

A younger workforce can impact the job market in various ways as it potentially influences the availability and market rates of many roles as well as the employability of older employees. Their influence in the gulf will be especially significant in the near future and is expected to reach 75% of the total number of employees in the gulf by 2025.

Tags: APAC MENA

How will upcoming technology impact Singapore and Hong Kong trading floors?

09 Sep 2019

The adoption of technology in the trade finance sector has become more popular amongst top banks and financial institutions across Asia. This is largely due to the high competition between the Asian Tigers – Singapore and Hong Kong – to become the best trading hub in region.

How to become a Data Scientist: 3 skills you never thought you should have

09 Sep 2019

Asian Tigers, Singapore and Hong Kong, remain in the forefront as Asia’s regional big data hub. Promising at least SGD1 billion to each of its economy each year, data science have been undoubtedly a high-growth sector. Coupled with its city-state’s significant infrastructure investment, Singapore champions’ innovation as part of its goal to become the world’s first Smart Nation.

IR35 Readiness Programme: Outcomes

06 Sep 2019

Since this event, in Aberdeen we've helped and up-skilled around 70 of our customers in their preparations for the private sector reform, which will be coming into effect in April 2020. Read how you can get a copy of our template materials, or get in touch with us, by reading the rest of the blog.

Tags: IR35