Are you unsure why a professional CV is vital in gaining interviews? This might make it clearer.
Why a professional CV is vital in gaining interviews
by Dawn Moss
It’s surprising in today’s digital age and the world of social media networking that the CV is still going strong. Despite being around for decades the CV is still the most popular document used to get you an invite to interview.
That’s why your CV is one of the most important parts of the recruitment process and you’ll need to spend some quality time and effort on the presentation and content.
Your CV is the first point of contact with the company and it’s your opportunity to make that all important first impression.
Here are some reasons why a professional CV is vital in gaining interviews.
First Impressions Count
There is a belief that the first impression happens at interview. It’s actually at your first contact with the company – usually your CV. Then everything you do throughout the recruitment process will contribute to that initial impression of you. The presentation, content and perceived effort you’ve made will be assessed.
Everything you’ve claimed on your CV will also be observed and assessed. So, if you’ve claimed you have a high degree of attention to detail and there are several errors or typos in your CV – this will go against you. A well-written, professional CV will make a favourable impression and result in more interviews.
At a glance a recruiter or hiring manager will see if paragraphs are justified, bullet points are aligned and if the font is consistent throughout the document. It’s really that quick to decide to read on or file!
If you go crazy with too many headers and sub headers, underlining, page dividers, borders and shading, fancy fonts that are particularly difficult to read, the page tends to look cluttered. If it’s difficult to read and not pleasing to the eye it’s likely to put a recruiter off reading.
Keep it simple and stick to traditional styles and fonts. Stay away from adding text boxes as these tend to be difficult to edit or tailor later. Consider the reader and keep bullet points concise and succinct. Ensure it’s easy to read and quick to find the key information matching the job requirements. Also avoid long paragraphs of text.
A professional CV writer will know how to construct a CV that addresses all these points.
Another change to CVs in the last few years is adding achievements rather than just copying and pasting your current job description. It’s no longer effective to list tasks and duties. Employers want to see what difference you’ve made in your job. They want to see your achievements and accomplishments and how you’ve made improvements, saved time, saved money, automated or streamlined processes.
This does take a little more time and effort to add your key achievements and that’s one of the reasons you’ll stand out from other candidates that just simply copy and paste. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate a number of relevant behavioural competencies. Review the job advert and the job description to select relevant achievements that match the requirements of the job.
A professional CV writer keeps up to date with current industry trends and practices. They will construct your CV to highlight your skills and achievements.
Tailoring your CV
Gone are the days when you could get away with throwing out the same CV to multiple vacancies. Recruiters know in an instant if you’ve not made the effort to tailoring. How can they possibly know? From the cover letter to the profile, to the key skills you’ve highlighted they’ll know if you’ve bothered reading the advert.
Taking time to tailor each Cover Letter and CV will show you’ve taken the time to read the requirements and this in turn demonstrates that you are genuinely interested in the vacancy. It will also demonstrate you understand the nature of the job and what’s required. If you’ve included your reasons for being interested in the vacancy and the company, they will also be able to identify you’ve visited their website and understand the business and its culture.
Take each job application seriously. Spend time reviewing the job advert and highlighting relevant experience, knowledge and skills for each vacancy. Tailor both your Cover Letter and CV. Take the time to research the company and understand your reasons for applying, as this will demonstrate your motivational fit too.
Dawn is the founder of Your Interview Coach set up in 2013. Previously she was an in-house recruiter for more than a decade and has interviewed well over ten thousand candidates and screened tens of thousands of CVs during her career. She’s worked for the NHS and the Private Healthcare Sector, Manufacturing and Engineering and finished her corporate career in a Corporate Bank in the City of London.