According to numerous reports in the media the great resignation is in full swing, with people looking for a change, seeking a new role or a fresh challenge. “Hybrid working” has become a core part of my vernacular over the last year and although my colleagues in the industry are a little sceptical about the Great Resignation theme, there is undeniably a drive for talent within the sales, supply chain and marketing areas.
It has me reflecting about the importance of the CV Applications – There may be opportunities in certain areas but it is still of real importance that your CV reflects your strengths and what you can bring to the position- and crucially, that your CV application can make a good first impression.
CV Application and Synergies
Obviously, being in Recruitment – I see Applications every day – which leads to conversations about the marketplace; opportunities etc.. Sometimes, a candidate would say “I am finding it hard to obtain interviews” which leads to a focus on the CV. It is critical when applying for a vacancy that the main requirements in the job spec are reflected in your CV.
Is it acceptable to have a standard / generic CV on file? Of course it is and ideally updated when you upskill yourself. However, sometimes candidates will not have updated their CV properly in the last 2/3 years when they may have gained additional experience during that time. Essentially, when applying to a role you need to convey the synergies between your experience and what the organisation wants and further, to tailor the CV to match the companies requirements in the job description.
Could this be time consuming? Yes it will be. Will it involve more effort? Yes it will and also accept the fact that your CV may not be selected in the client’s shortlist regardless. But the harder you try and the more you work to tailor your CV and create synergies between it and the role specification, the more success you should have in obtaining interviews. So for example; if the job spec states that the role involves leading a Team or being responsible for Irish Retailers or strategy; review your CV to make sure that you are highlighting the overlaps and if it is your most recent experience; dial that up on your CV Application.
Format of the CV and sell yourself !
The format of the CV is a subjective theme – Yes, it is completely up to you. Personally and don’t shoot the Messenger here, but my own personal viewpoint is that your CV should be clear, concise and no more than 3 pages. Sometimes, I receive CVS that are 9 or 10 pages long and in my opinion, that is far too long- focus on what is relevant. The CV is not just an example of your experience, it is also a test of your communication skills. The font you use must be extremely easy to read. Good font options include Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri and Helvetica. It is also best to keep the font size to the 10.5-12 range. Subheadings can be 14 or even 16. Make sure these headings are in bold font, so they stand out.
Below your personal details on your CV, write up a 3- 4 line profile highlighting your strengths, that summarises your experience and provides an immediate description on why you are good fit for the job. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself! It is important yet easy to say what you did in a role but a real stand out on a CV application is key result areas where you can demonstrate success- for example- and only state it if you can stand behind the facts- “exceeded targets; grew market share; was involved in the re-brand that delivered ….”And try to have facts, definite figures if possible.
It could be late in the evening and a great opportunity pops up on Linkedin – hopefully one of my alerts! and you decide to make an application but just before you press send or have an updated CV on file to send on, check the spelling and formatting. Also people do forget to edit the CV and edit their experience, (a common one is “currently studying X, Y, Z programme when you have already completed the course). A real turn off for a client is bad spelling and consistent bad spelling- apart from anything, reflects poor attention to detail.
So overall, the key word is synergies- spend some time on the CV- press pause and reflect on it before you press send! and good luck with the search!