Career | Is your CV up to the job?

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Are you not getting the jobs that you are applying for? This may be a sign that your CV needs to be jazzed up and be more effective for today’s job market.

It is easy to just send your CV in once you see a job opportunity that you like. While the jobs market has improved significantly, the competition between candidates is just as high. And your CV is the first step into the door. As such, you need to invest a little time and effort in ensuring that its the right format, and contains the right information.

Whatever job you are going for, employers want to see achievements and results. You may have had hundreds of duties in your previous roles but that matters little to employers. They want to see what value and offering you really bring.

Do up a list of each job you have held. Under each title list your duties and projects you worked on. Under each project, make a note of your involvement and the results obtained. Also identify what you learned from each project.

Do the same with your educational history. Include every course, result and projects that are of particular relevance to your current and desired jobs. Write another list of skills and professional technologies that you have experience with. Ensure that you use the proper names for the computer programmes and technologies that you use as recruiters will keyword search your CV.

Once you have compiled your research and lists, you are ready to build your CV. There are many examples of CV templates online, but there are a few rules to consider. Start with your contact details, but keep these to a minimum.

Should you put your professional working experience or educational qualifications first? This depends on the job spec. If your work experience is most relevant to the role, list that first, and in chronological order starting with your current role.

If your educational qualifications are most relevant, list them first; followed by your work experience. Add the lists of skills, technical competencies and hobbies at the end.

Edit and refine your CV. Go through each section, removing the least relevant points. Match the job spec with your CV and delete the information that the employer probably doesn’t need to know. Obvious duties or ones that are irrelevant to the role, for example, can be deleted. Keep editing the article until all relevant information and keywords are included, and it’s perfect.