A CV is an employer’s first, and sometimes only, chance to learn about a potential new employee. It can be disheartening to send out countless CVs without receiving an invitation to interview. However, in today’s competitive job market most employers receive such a large volume of applications that they spend only a few minutes looking at each one. It is highly likely there are small changes you can make to improve your career prospects and reduce the chance of your CV being overlooked.
Sometimes you may need to gain additional qualifications to succeed in your job search. It is a good idea to research the latest desired qualifications for your industry. A lean Six Sigma certification from The Knowledge Academy will provide you with a number of transferable skills. The course, which leads to a recognised qualification, is designed to teach individuals how to improve the performance of a business and reduce costs, which is valuable in any industry. Other qualifications to consider include languages or specialist IT skills, which are required in a wide variety of industries.
Work experience placements and internships are invaluable for gaining an insight into the industry you desire to work in. Although the work may be low-paid, or even unpaid, the chance to network and gain essential skills is invaluable. Many interns are offered full-time roles at the organisation they have worked at immediately after completing a placement. However, avoid taking on these placements for extended periods of time as they could be taking advantage of your willingness to work for a low wage. If an internship is not a viable option, consider tailoring your current experience to each job you apply for. For example, state how the skills learnt during your customer service role are relevant to your chosen career. Any experience is useful experience, as long as you phrase it in the correct way.
Failing to include interests and activities on your CV could be drastically underselling yourself. If you have completed voluntary work, fundraising or compete in a sport, these activities should be included on your CV. How you spend your time outside of work conveys a lot about your personality. Commitment to an activity, such as volunteering, shows that you are a dedicated person and adds interest to your profile. If you have received any awards or had work published professionally this is also a significant achievement that will intrigue employers and shows your expertise.
Proofread and Tailor
There is no room for error on a CV. It is important to proofread and tailor your CV so it is free from mistakes and appropriate for the job you are applying for. A good CV should only be one to two pages long, so taking up valuable room with irrelevant experience could be damaging your chances to make a good impression. Ask someone else to proofread your CV for you, as they are likely to offer you more constructive criticism than you would give yourself.