Following on from my colleague Rayhaneh Tehrani's recent blog on top interview tips I thought I would follow that up with some essential advice when constructing your CV.
It is thought that recruiters spend less than 10 seconds looking at your CV, so it is vital to make sure you have the right information in plain sight. I recently saw a poll on LinkedIn that asked what the biggest mistake was on a CV, the options were:
1. Lack of content
2. Poor grammar or spelling
3. Bad formatting
4. Career gaps
5. Not enough information
I chose to vote for both lack of content and not enough information, which in my mind amounts to the same thing. Poor spelling/grammar can be down to a number of things and is easily rectifiable, so for me personally isn't a key factor (although it takes two seconds to use the spell check). In terms of career gaps, this isn't the end of the world; most of the time this is down to personal reasons and is something that can be investigated at interview or when registering with us. I must admit that bad formatting is really off putting, it can also make it very difficult to read and fully understand a candidate's experience.
I can appreciate that putting a CV together can be a daunting task. As a recruiter the two key things I look for on a CV are:
1. Where you have worked and the dates you were employed there: This may seem obvious but I regularly see a number of CVs which do not clearly state this!
2. Day-to-day duties: It is important to list a couple of bullet points outlining the matters dealt with on a day to day basis. If this information is missing it is difficult for a recruiter to assess your suitability for a vacancy.
Lack of information or content on a CV can also create a bad impression. At Sellick Partnership one of the services we offer is assistance and advice when it comes to CV writing. Numerous candidates find writing a CV challenging as they either haven't had to do one, or haven't written one in a long time.
As locum recruitment specialists my main advice would be to make sure that you update your CV as often as possible. The best time to be updating it is whilst you are still working within that assignment, as day-to-day responsibilities would still be fresh in your memory. The other way to think about it is if you were the client, what would you want to see on a CV from a prospective candidate? A list of dates and names of places just isn't enough, it is essential to sell yourself and your capabilities - for instance, if you are applying for a legal role you need to be outlining what matters your case load consisted of.
What would you consider to be the biggest error on a CV? Do you agree with me? I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you would like assistance with compiling your CV please do get in touch or please connect with me on LinkedIn!