As a recruiter, something I'm asked regularly is, ‘Is there anything I can do to improve my CV?’ My view on this? I'm surprised more people don't ask this question and look to continually improve their CV. I've outlined below a few of my personal 'Top Tips' for a CV that will give you the best chance of engaging a hiring manager and landing you an interview.
The single most important aspect of the CV - ensure you alter the CV and make it specific to the company and role you are applying for. Bring out the specifics a hiring manager might want to know about you, for example, if you are a Project Manager, don't list the generic duties a Project Manager will do in any organisation, instead list a few projects that you have delivered. Provide the budget you managed, the number of resources, such as, was it one or multiple release phases?
Think of the company’s culture. What type of people do they look for? For example, if they are known to encourage employees to take part in charity work and CSR campaigns, really highlight any voluntary and fundraising work you've done. You should also look at the company’s marketing campaigns, and website content, how do they engage with their customers? How is the job advert written? Is your CV written in a way which compliments this? If not, tweak it until you're comfortable that it does.
Stay away from font that's too fancy, difficult to read or multiple font types throughout your CV. Keep it to a normal and simple size and font style. Headers in bold.
Two pages is best, three if required. One page isn't enough detail, unless you're a school leaver, and any more than three – you’re losing the reader.
Avoid borders, keep it simple. A short summary with any key technical skills or accreditations essential for the role, followed by your career history, education, and finish with any voluntary work and hobbies.
Also avoid using header/footers. Many companies will use a CRM system to process job applications and sometimes technology can work against you as it doesn’t always pick up information / clearly display it in the header/footers.
You would be surprised at how many people forget to put their contact details on their CV or who change e-mail accounts / phone numbers and don't update them.
Remember to use a professional e-mail account ‘babes101’, something rude or ‘@xyz.com’ isn't the best first impression for a hiring manager!