10 CV writing tips to get an interview

6 seconds… That’s the average time a recruiter will spend looking at your CV. 

If you want a chance to get through to the next stage you’ve got to:

  • Not get eliminated in the first 6 seconds
  • Catch their attention with the information they’re looking for
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Sounds simple enough…

Don’t get disqualified

The first thing you have to do is to not get yourself ruled out as soon as the recruiter opens your CV. 

Any of those will stand out like a sore thumb and can cost you your interview:

1. A hard to read CV layout

How you format your CV is key! If it takes the recruiter more than 6 seconds to figure out what your current job is, you’re out. 

2. An unprofessional email address

If, like me, you have gone through a number of ridiculous email addresses during your teens, make sure you don’t use them on your CV. 

Not OK OK
Sexylady69@email.comFirst Name . Last Name@email.com
Bornin1990@email.comInitial – Last Name@email.com
Love2party4ever@email.comLast Name First Name@email.com
** By the way, those are not my embarrassing email addresses…

3. Spelling mistakes

You have no excuse for typos on your CV. You can use the automatic corrector or ask someone to read your CV before you send it.

4. Jargon or acronyms 

We’re all guilty of using jargon at work. The issue is that some of the acronyms we use day in, day out are completely made up and don’t mean anything to the outside world. If it’s not an industry known term, don’t use it. 

5. Anything that could lead to discrimination

Your age, nationality, marital status, address, photo or anything like that, have nothing to do on your CV. They won’t help you get the job and can actually get you wrongly disqualified.

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Stand out from the crowd

If you’ve survived the killer eyes of the recruiter, you’ll need to catch their attention to make them want to know more about you and invite you to an interview. 

6. Write a powerful personal statement

It sits there at the top of your CV as an introduction to who you are, what you do and what you’re looking for. Think about it as your elevator pitch. 

7. Show off your relevant work experience

Don’t go deleting half your jobs (well you can if they are summer jobs from 10 years ago), but make sure your experience highlights stuff that can be useful in your next job. 

For example:
You want to work as a Call Centre Advisor but all your previous jobs are as a Waitress. Talk about how you dealt with customers, made them feel welcome, advised them on the range of food available, dealt with complaints, etc. But you don’t need to talk about serving food and alcohol or cleaning up tables.

8. Brag about your achievements

What is the difference between you and everyone else in a similar job? It’s not your job description, but what you’ve accomplished. Don’t just assume they’ll know you’re the best, tell them why you are! 

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9. Use keywords

The words you choose to use are so important. And every time you use a keyword that’s on the recruiter’s brief you’ll get a big green tick next to your name. Review a few adverts to find the words that come out often and use them in your CV.

10. Come up with data

In a CV that’s full of words, numbers will stand out. Quantify your responsibilities and achievements to prove your productivity. And if you’re not 100% sure, don’t make things up, do a bit of research and make an educated guess.

That’s all! 

With those 10 simple CV writing tips, you can create a cracking CV that will help you nail your job search. 

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