Revamp your CV
Your CV is often your first chance to make an impression on a potential employer. Nic Sephton-poultney, country manager at Robert Walters recruitment consultancy, gives pointers on securing your ideal role.
keep it brief
“Your CV will grow as you gain experience. However, you should consider leaving out some information,” says Nic. “Providing a full employment history is important, as employers will probably ask about any significant gaps, but once you’ve progressed in your career, it may be best to remove some of the details of your earliest jobs and to focus on your recent and most impressive achievements. A good rule of thumb: your CV should be four pages maximum.”
don’t go overboard
“Including personal information such as your hobbies and interests is fine, but do so sparingly. Remember that a potential employer is looking for an overview of your skills,
so think about what is relevant,” says Nic. “By presenting personal information in this way, you can increase your appeal and show your personality at the same time. These skills don’t necessarily need to be related to the role in question. Transferable qualities like leadership skills are highly valued by employers across a wide range of roles.”
“Your potential employer will need to check your references to confirm your employment history, so have your referees in mind when you apply for a new role,” says Nic. “And make sure your proposed referees are happy to be contacted before you supply their information. Even if you have a good relationship, don’t make assumptions when you share their contact details.”
“While it is becoming popular among some professionals to include a photo on their CV, it can do more harm than good, as some employers may consider it unprofessional,” says Nic. “A better option is to add a professionallooking photo to your Linkedin profile. Many employers will check your professional social media presence as part of the recruitment process and this is a more appropriate place to have a headshot.”
use a personal email address
“Avoid using your work contact details when you apply for other positions, unless you have clarified your search with your
current employer. And if you’re going to set up a personal address or something similar, be sure that it’s an appropriate choice and avoid using nicknames, as this could create a negative impression with a future employer,” says Nic.
consider your cover letter
“A cover letter is only useful if it is tailored to the role in question. A generic letter is convenient, but it can create the impression that you haven’t put in any effort,” says Nic. “If you decide to include one, use it to outline where your skills and experience apply specifically to the role and ensure that it is correctly addressed.” It goes without saying that the letter should be grammatically written and well presented.