This past couple of weeks I’ve met some wonderful people who were referred to me because their job applications were being rejected and they had no idea why! All were professional, capable and confident and were hoping I’d shed some light on things.
I took a quick look at their CV’s and asked them what they’d applied to, and from my perspective, the puzzles were really easy to solve! So I pointed out some basic, but key things that could help!
I’m guessing that you may be wondering the same thing – so I’M SHARING MY TOP FOUR TIPS WITH YOU TOO!
- Be optimistic but also be realistic! I definitely encourage you to give things a go and apply for your dream job even if its outside of your current skill set or depth of experience – but be realistic about it – businesses can be really risk averse and so don’t be surprised if your application is rejected. In most cases companies are searching for people with the skillset and experience that match the requirements of their vacancy. In my experience, its always a pleasant surprise if they’re thinking outside the square.(If you are applying to a role that you aren’t experienced in, make sure you demonstrate some self awareness and clearly communicate your transferrable skills or relevant capability)
- Drop the looooong paragraphs! Where possible – use succinct bullet points! These days most of the people I know scan CV’s like they scan internet pages. It can be a real pain searching for hidden gems of information amongst mounds of entertaining but not always relevant information. Key information can be missed or even skipped when set in long paragraphs.
- You’ve got to list your achievements on your CV! Some people only list their achievements on their cover letters (recruitment trade secret: not everybody reads cover letters) – and some people don’t share their achievements anywhere. It’s a competitive job market – if you don’t tell people how awesome you are, they won’t know and they won’t be as interested in meeting you! People expect you to be able to do your job, but what they really want to know – is can you make a positive difference to their company and to their people? Share your achievements on your CV – you may not get the chance to share them in person if you don’t.
- Keep things Consistent! Ok, so you’ve checked you grammar and spelling – great! Have you also made sure that things like your tenses, your fonts and your layout are consistent throughout your CV? Make sure you do! Companies will expect a senior candidate to have strong attention to detail.
Hope those are helpful – feel free to share your tips for others to read or get in touch if you’d like my help!