A great CV is constantly being kept up to date, adapted and refined; with Applicant Tracking Systems and automated screening software, it’s even more important to keep up with CV trends regarding formatting, presentation and content. Otherwise you may find yourself falling behind the crowd instead of leading it. Here’s a few tips to ensure your CV is ahead of the curve!
Different Countries, Different Expectations
You may know what’s expected of resumes in your country, but if you’re applying for a position abroad, it pays to know how to present your CV there. For example, in some EU countries you should include your nationality, date of birth, marital status, gender and your photo, while in the UK and Ireland this type of information should be left out. In Europe the usual CV length is two A4 pages, but in other parts of the world it’s not uncommon to see up to six pages. To make sure that you start on the right foot, ask your recruitment agent for advice on what companies are looking for in that location.
Make Your CV ATS Friendly
You may be rejected for a position before a human being even lays eyes on your CV. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are becoming more and more popular with companies, recruitment agencies and hiring managers to scan and automatically reject applications, either because the submitted documents don’t have the proper qualifications, or the files aren’t formatted in an ATS-friendly way.
So how do you get past the automated screening process? By making sure that you tailor your resume to the job for which you’re applying. Make sure your CV has keywords that are relevant to the job description, company and industry, and try to use the most important keywords more than once. If you have keywords that you can’t easily include in your job descriptions, consider including a skills section. And make sure to include the employment dates for all of the positions listed, as the screening criteria may include amount of experience.
Use a Simple, Easy to Read Layout
A CV that uses clean and tidy formatting is more easily read by scanning software. But it’s also a fact that concise content, bullet points and clear sections are easier for the human eye to take in, especially on a screen. Use a sleek and modern font to make a professional impression; the point size depends on the font, but 11-12 pt is a good guide.
Keep your job descriptions to the point; use bullet points to break up the text and make it easier for busy people to scan, and leave enough white space as to not make the pages look too crowded. Avoid going over two pages; hiring managers don’t need to hear a long-winded account of a junior position that you had over 15 years ago.
Include Key Work Metrics
It’s not enough to list your achievements and experience for each job description; to prove that you have what it takes, use figures and statistics to back up your claims, like Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Maybe you implemented a process that reduced turnaround time by X%, or increased company revenue by X% over Y years, or you mentored X amount of employees voluntarily? Highlight your accomplishments by providing hard facts and figures to support them.
Grab the attention of hiring managers or recruitment agents right from the beginning by providing links to places where you have samples of your work product, like LinkedIn, a website, or a blog. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is in good shape; include media such as a video of a presentation you’ve made, or a blog post that represents your professional values. And consider asking your LinkedIn connections for recommendations to make your profile even more attractive to recruiters.
So now that your CV is in top shape, it’s time to get your career on track. Contact Saro Recruitment today to get to where you want to go!
15 May 2018