Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is Your CV Cutting-Edge?

Perhaps your professional photo is smiling modestly atop a professional profile on many a professional networking site and your casual photo is smiling less than modestly on several other social networking sites and perhaps you are asking yourself if in this enlightened day and age this constitutes a sufficient career networking presence.  After all you are shouting your professional needs on all aforementioned sites and your network you hope will grow exponentially by the day presenting you with ample and sufficient career opportunities . . . . Right?  Not so fast!  Top jobsites are still the specialist destination of choice for regional professional recruiters who wish to recruit talent quickly, easily, effectively and cost-efficiently and a topnotch CV remains the professional currency of choice on these jobsites.  Think of having a quality CV on a quality regional jobsite as an essential investment in your future whether you are actively or passively exploring career opportunities and ask yourself if your CV has what it takes to stand out and launch you along your chosen career path.  Before activating your online CV ask yourself if your CV is:-
  1. Correct:-
Typos, grammatical mistakes and inconsistencies will not go unnoticed nor will outright lies, inaccuracies and exaggerations.  At best they can indicate sloppiness, poor communication skills and lack of attention to detail; taken further they could cast doubt on your professional integrity and essential values as a professional.  Take the time to check your CV and ensure it is completely accurate and error-free.
  1. Complete:-
Gaps and omissions leave recruiters with more questions than answers as do very sparse CVs that do not provide all the essential required details.  Be generous with the information needed to prove you are the best professional for the role without being superfluous or flowery with the descriptions.  Try to start by looking at CVs in your industry and role to gain an idea of industry best-practice.  Don’t forget contact details so employers can find you once you wow them!
  1. Coherent:-
While employers don’t want the flowery stuff for the most part they do want to make sense of the information you provide.  Make sure the language is appropriate for the role and that the sentences are structured to give the meanings you actually want to convey.
  1. Competitive:-
An average popular job advertised on a top jobsite such as can receive far north of 450 applications and your CV needs to be able to compete with them and do so in a very short time span.  Highlight those aspects of your skills, experience, achievements and credentials that show leadership and success and really make you stand out from other applicants. Differentiate yourself from the competitors by showcasing your most unique positive features.  Remember you bring to the table an entirely unique skillset and set of abilities and you need to convince a potential employer of that through your CV.

5. Compelling
Make that CV as interesting and dynamic as you can.  Use action verbs to communicate your achievements and support all claims with clear facts and figures that drive the points home.  Also touch upon other key facets of your unique persona including  hobbies, interests, travel, awards, references, clubs, associations and any published work as all these elements add to the texture and depth of the CV and help you keep the employer riveted to your profile and wanting to meet you.  Key details can make a difference in giving you that compelling and memorable CV that leaves you top of mind with employers long after they are done sifting through the rest.
6. Current
Your CV should account for all periods up until the present day even if you have been unemployed.  If you don’t want potential employers to know where you are presently working for fear the word will spread to your current boss, choose one of the online confidentiality options a leading jobsite such as allows.  Employers are most interested in your last and most recent experience and CVs that are not current and up-to-date are for that reason usually heavily discounted and often disregarded.
7. Clear
Make the employer’s life easier by making your CV intelligent in format and content and clear to both eye and mind.  In addition, try to favor bullet points instead of paragraphs and be very focused in your opening objective/positioning/summary statement as to what it is precisely you are looking for.
8. Customized
Blanket, generic, one-size-fits-all CVs designed to be used across industries and job roles rarely make the mark.  Aim to customize your CV for the exact role you are targeting and try to highlight those exact skills and attributes that the potential employer is looking for in a particular context. Modern advanced technologies mean employers can hone in on CVs with precise keywords, so make sure your CV does contain these essential required keywords, and that it is directly relevant for the role.

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