It’s often reported that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a CV before they make the initial decision on candidates. That means you have to win them over fast.
Amelia Brooke, founder of ABCV Solutions, created an example of an excellent CV to show what works.
While CVs should be tailored to the industry you’re in, the one below offers a helpful guide for entry- and mid-level professionals with three to eight years of relevant work experience.
What makes this CV so great?
1. It includes a URL to the jobseeker’s LinkedIn profile.
If you don’t include URLs to your LinkedIn, hiring managers will look you up regardless. LinkedIn is a powerful recruiting tool offering employment profiles of over 400 million potential candidates. That’s why more than 90 per cent of recruiters admit to reviewing candidates’ online profiles, so why not include your URL along with your contact information? This will prevent recruiters from having to guess or mistaking you for someone else.
2. It uses consistent branding.
“If you have a common name, consider including your middle initial on your CV and online professional profiles to differentiate yourself from the competition,” says Amelia. For example, decide if you’re James Thompson or Jim C. Thompson. Then use this name consistently, be it on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
3. It includes a single phone number and email address. “Choose one phone number for your CV where you control the voicemail message and who picks up the phone,” she advises. The same rule applies to an email address.
4. It does not include an objective statement.
There’s no point in including a generic objective about a “professional looking for opportunities that will allow me to leverage my skills,” says Amelia. It’s not helpful and distracting. Ditch it.
5. Instead, it includes an executive summary.
Replace your fluffy statement with an executive summary, which should be like a “30-second elevator pitch” where you explain who you are and what you’re looking for. “In approximately three to five sentences, explain what you’re great at and how you can provide value to a prospective employer,” Amelia says.
6. It uses a reverse chronological order.
This is the most helpful for recruiters because they’re able to see what you’ve been doing in recent years immediately, says Amelia. “The only time you shouldn’t do this is if you’re trying to transition to another career altogether, but then again, in this situation, you’ll probably be relying more on networks,” than your CV, she says.
7. It uses keywords like “strategic leadership” and “digital transformation.”
Many companies use some kind of screening process to identify the right candidates. You should include the keywords mentioned in the job posting throughout your CV. Even if you’ve had your CV prepared by a professional CV writer, identify the common keywords, terminology, and key phrases that pop up in each vacancy advert or job description and incorporate them into your CV (assuming you have those skills),” advises Amelia. “This will help you make it past the initial screenings and on to the recruiter or hiring manager.
8. It provides company descriptions.
It’s helpful for recruiters to know the size of the company you used to work for, advises Amelia. “Being a Project Manager of a huge company means something very different than a Project Manager at a small company,” she says. Just be careful to not dedicate too much valuable space to this.
9. It does not list achievements in dense blocks of text.
Recruiters receive so many CVs to scan through at a time, so make it as easy as possible for them to understand why you’re perfect for the job. Dense blocks of text are too difficult to read, says Amelia.
10. Instead, achievements are listed in three bullet points per job.
Under each job or experience you’ve had, explain how you contributed to or supported your team’s projects and initiatives. “As you build up your experience, save the bullets for your bragging points,” says Amelia.
11. It quantifies achievements.
“Quantify your major accomplishments and contributions for each role,” Amelia recommends”. This can include the money you saved or brought in for your employer, deals closed, and projects delivered on time or under budget. Do not use any more than three to five bullet points.
12. White space draws the reader’s eyes to important points.
Recruiters do not spend a lot of time scanning CVs, so avoid dense blocks of text. “The key is to format the information in a way that makes it easy to scan and recognise your job goals and relevant qualifications,” Amelia says.
13. It doesn’t use crazy fonts or colours.
“There’s no need to stick to black and white colour, in fact, strategically placed colour can help your CV to stand out,” says Amelia. As for font, it’s best to stick with the basics, such as Arial, Tahoma, or Calibri.
14. It does not include pronouns.
Amelia says you should never write your CV in the third person because everyone knows you’re the one writing it (unless you go through a professional CV writing service). Instead, you should write it in the first person, and do not include pronouns. “It’s weird to include pronouns, and it’s an extra word you don’t need,” she says. “You need to streamline your CV because you have limited real estate.”
15. Education is listed at the bottom.
Unless you’re a recent graduate, you should highlight your work experience and move your education information to the bottom of your CV, says Amelia. Never include anything about your high-school years.
If you are struggling to land an interview or simply don’t have the time to modernise your existing CV. Consider investing in a professionally authored CV. ABCV Solutions offer celebrated CV Writing Services for Engineers and Technical Professionals. Simply contact Amelia Brooke or visit ABCV Solutions.