How to tailor your CV for the Job

With a lot of different opinions out there on what should or shouldn’t go into a CV we thought we’d put together some tips and tricks for you.  When it comes to CV trends, these can change quickly.  From headshots to company logos, it’s hard to tell which extras will make your application stand out and get noticed.


Keep it Simple

We recommend keeping it simple; when it comes to your experience, be clear and concise.  Along with this add a clean, modern design and some descriptive storytelling, and you’re on your way. Age isn't always an advantage when you're job searching, especially in a competitive job market. Hiring managers can view older workers as more expensive to hire, as having outdated experience or too much experience, or as not being current with today's technology and workplaces.

One way to overcome the perception that your age is an issue is to edit your CV so it is relevant to the roles you are applying for. Limiting what you include on your CV, from a chronological perspective, can help you avoid the stigma of being considered "too old" by a prospective employer. We encourage you to limit your work history to the last 10-12 years. You can always include a summary of additional relevant skills and experience after your work history (without dates).

It is important to not leave gaps in your CV, people do check these things – so if you can explain any gaps in your CV we recommend doing so, whether it’s travel; sabbatical or contracting. Be selective and ask yourself: “Is this relevant?” As for hobbies and interests, keep them succinct and current.


Tell it how it is 

Be honest. Don’t exaggerate your experience, don’t makeup qualifications.  Tell it as it is; your potential employer will appreciate your honesty and your willingness to learn. Employers don’t like surprises. Also, showing that you're up to speed with the latest technology and skills needed for your profession, will help maximise your chances of getting selected for an interview if that is what is required for the position.  Otherwise think of the systems or programmes you have used, even if they are specific to an organisation it shows you can pick up systems and use them competently.

Don’t include names or details for your referees.  The employer can request these at the appropriate time and ensure that you ask your referee for permission before you give out their contact details.  Also, ensure this is someone who will talk about you favourably and there were no significant issues or personality clashes as this can harm your shot at getting the role.


Check, Check, Check, and Check again! 

Check, double check and triple check your CV for spelling and grammar mistakes. This is a common mistake and stops recruiters and hiring managers on the spot from taking your application to the next stage.  Spell check is your friend! It’s crucial the formatting is correct if you’re unsure on this get someone to help you out.  Even pop into your local library they usually have some friendly staff who can help you out.

Lastly, don’t be afraid of creating a CV.  It can be daunting just thinking about where to start!  Even if you’ve never needed one, it’s so important these days – it’s the first impression for an employer and it needs to be good.  It needs to tell your story in a way that relates to the role you are applying for and it is a reflection of you, so think about that when you have the final product – does this tell my story and am I proud for this to be out there representing me?! 


Download our free CV template here

Click here for our blog on cover letters


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