Matt Hanley of M-TWO Matching Talent With Opportunity provides some great advice on how to make your CV work better for you
Firstly, I should say that I read a lot CVs. They arrive in my inbox on a very regular basis and I make sure that I read every single one of them because each one of them represents a person reaching out to me so I can help them with their next major life move. But the truth is, a lot of them are monotone and very, very samey, and if it is off-putting to me – how do you think they look to prospective employers?
Your CV is your shop window. It’s your chance to make a great first impression of you and what you can offer to an employer. It should reflect you and your personality. So you need to give it some personality. Make it shine so it stands out and tells the employer that YOU are someone they need to know more about.
Top tips for revamping your CV
Most people like to put CV or Resume at the top of the page as the title. Don’t. There’s no point. Everyone knows what it is so use this space to put something meaningful – like your name, location and how to get hold of you (email/phone).
Next up, I usually see ‘Career Objectives’. Nope, bin it. These are too generic, wish-washy and usually scream ‘so what!’. Replace this by writing a proper and punchy intro of your career so far. Tell the employer about your transferable skills and exactly why you are open to a new opportunity.
You do need to have your present employment and experience, but keep it short and sweet. Nobody wants chapter and verse. People spend an average of 45 seconds scanning a CV before deciding what action to take. Rather than where you worked and how long, employers want to know what your role actually was. What you did and how well you did it. You need to hook people in so that they want to learn more. Make it punchy – right between the eyes.
For your education summary, nobody needs to know you got an E in Geography in 1994. Again, keep it punchy. Name the school, college, university and the areas studied and rough grades. Eg. 10 GCSE’s or a 2:1 in Business Management.
When it comes to the about you section, make it personal. Tell the employer a little about you, your family life, and what you do outside of work, such as hobbies, volunteering etc. This is your opportunity for you to break the ice and perhaps make a bit of a connection with the employer.
As for putting ‘Reference available on request’, bin it. This does nothing for you! Swap it out for your favourite LinkedIn testimonials.
If a picture can paint a thousand words – a good example should be able to do the same. Take a look at this and use it as a starting point for creating your next CV masterpiece. If you then send it to me (email in my CV), I promise to take a look, give you feedback and then help you to make the next big move in your career.
Position: Managing Director
Company: MTWO Search (include a link to the website – www.m-two.uk)
Dates: July 2021 – Present
MTWO is a niche recruitment business operating exclusively within the Print, Packaging & Signage sectors. Here, I am the Managing Director and am responsible for and achieved the following:
And then repeat for each role.
Image courtesy of João Ferrão