The competition for jobs today is tough. This means that if you’re going to have any chance of getting the job you want (or any job for that matter), you’re going to need a winning CV as your ally.
How do you know if your CV cuts the mustard? It’s very simple. If you can identify with one or more of the signs below, your CV needs a makeover – and fast!
Sign #1: You have the words “CV” or “Curriculum Vitae” at the very top of your CV
Please be assured that most employers are intelligent enough to know a CV when they see one so you can safely remove these meaningless words with no negative consequences.
A better alternative is to write your name and surname at the top of your CV in big bold letters (I recommend a font size in the 20s) – if there’s one thing you want the employer to remember after reading your CV, it has got to be your name.
Sign #2: You’re still using the Times New Roman font
Times New Roman has long passed its sell by date when it comes to CVs. Using Times New Roman immediately dates your CV by about ten years so avoid it like the plague and instead aim for clean, clear, modern fonts like Verdana, Calibri or Tahoma.
Sign #3: You’ve included every single job you’ve ever done this side of the planet
One of the vital keys to a winning CV is to be specific and target the industry of your choice. This negates the need to include everything you’ve ever done in full detail. The more you advance in your career, the less the earlier stuff matters so if it is no longer relevant to your current career path – give a one-sentence summary or get rid of it altogether.
Sign #4: You have full details of your GCSE subjects and grades received
If you’re under 21, fresh out of college or university and with not much experience under your belt to get started in the world of work, it’s okay to include your GCSE subjects and results on your CV. Any later than that and you’re wasting precious space.
There are core GCSE subjects, such as Maths and English, that are important requirements for certain jobs, but if you really must list these, it’s better to put a summary sentence (such as, “9 GCSE A-C grades, including Maths and English”) than to list every single one of your subjects and grades. This is especially the case where you’ve gone on to obtain far more advanced qualifications and training in your field.
Sign #5: You’ve been handing out your CV for months with no resulting interviews
This one goes without saying. If you’ve been actively job hunting for a period of time and you’re getting no results, it’s a clear sign that your CV just isn’t working as it should. Take this opportunity to revisit your CV and apply the 7 Keys to a Winning CV – this will restore your job-seeking confidence in no time!
Mildred Talabi is author of 7 Keys to a Winning CV.