I undertake regular professional training to keep my skills up to date. Recently we had a session where recruiters gave CV advice
This is the CV advice you need to read, then look at your CV and make changes.
Change the objective statement for a summary
Recruiters don’t care about what you want, it should be about what you can offer to them.
You should customise this opening summary for each job you go for, and demonstrate clearly why you are the right person for the job.
And YES, recruiters do read the summary
- It gives context and is a quick way to get a feel for the candidates’ career history/background. They want to read relevant strengths and a sense of their personality/soft skills.
- The recruiter of hiring manager wants to know that you can solve their problem, or you have relevant experience, they need to understand this first.
- Start with clarity in the first few words of who you are/ the job you seek.
- This is where you should highlight what differentiates you from the other applicants – make it clear why they should hire you.
- Keep it short – 5 lines tops and make it 2-3 sentences, not more bullets.
Ditch the fancy formatting
Whilst colour, tables and graphs, bold etc can look great on a printed CV, they don’t always work to your advantage when you submit online, and the shortlisting is done by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Too much formatting can make your CV difficult to read. Bold for headings can be fine but focus more on the use of white space to make things stand out for any CV that will be subject to ATS
Keep the contact details to the minimum
There is little need for a landline number when you include your mobile. Yet some people include both home and work landlines. Just include one email too. A recruiter will email, not post so no need for your home address but if being close to the place of work could be an advantage you could include your nearest town and postcode.
Be choosy over how much of your career history you include
The recruiter wants to know what you have done that is relevant to their vacancy; rarely do you need to go back more than 15 years unless the job is relevant.
Skip the info on References
Recruiters know that references are available on request, no need to waste space on your CV saying this.
They notice the typos
And they jar with them. Your CV is important, get someone else to read it through, carefully. Pay particular attention to the way words are used eg Photoshop, not as 2 separate words