CV BOOST! Top 5 Tips for Nailing that CV

Always on the lookout for ways to boost your CV's potential, this week’s advice comes from Louise, a careers and employment advisor whose job involves helping students to boost their CVs for maximum impact. She’s picked her Top 5 Tips to bear in mind when writing a CV:

1. Tailor

According to Louise, the most important thing you can do is tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. Employers can see right through a CV which has been reused and recycled for multiple applications. Make sure you reiterate exactly what the job description is asking you for – mention key skills and relevant experience as a priority in your application.

2. Expand

When you’re talking about previous roles and work experience, just saying ‘communication skills’ or ‘handled returns’ isn’t very impressive. Thinking about how your skills emulate the job you’re applying for gives your CV a much stronger context, and gives your reader a clearer understanding of what you’re capable of. Make sure you’re not underselling yourself or your experience!

3. Cut Unnecessary Content

Don’t feel like you have to include everything you’ve ever done on your CV. For most, 2 pages should be the maximum length. If you’re struggling to get it to that, cut out less-relevant achievements like high school sports medals/being a prefect. Whilst these are great for Personal Statements and uni applications, employers will be more interested in what you’ve done with your time since and the key skills you’ve gained.

4. Grammar, spelling and punctuation

It might seem obvious, but employers are definitely put off by bad grammar, especially if it’s a skill particularly relevant to the job you’re applying for – e.g. advertising or PR. Always have someone proofread before you send off a CV, and remember there’s no apostrophe in GCSEs!

5. Check, check, check!

Have someone who is trained to look at CVs review it before you send it on to an employer. All universities will have some sort of Careers Department where staff are trained to do this. Even if you’re happy with your CV, it’s worth having a professional look over it so you know it’s the best it can be.

Writing a CV can be a painstaking process, but the most important thing of all is that it showcases you and your achievements. It’s your first shot at selling yourself to a potential employer, so make it count and go get ‘em!