During our last free email etiquette webinar for job seekers, I mentioned to the participants and demonstrated how quickly Recruiters scan 100s of CVs to select the candidate they plan to call for the next stage of the interview. because many job applicants are judged and passed over because of poor presentation or because of how badly they communicate their value.
This process is extremely subjective and the jury is still out on whether it’s a fair process or not because many job applicants are judged and passed over because of poor presentation or because of how badly they communicate their value.
Therefore as a job seeker, you need to do your best to grab and retain the attention of anyone reading your CV and you can do that by ensuring that the top 1/3 of your CV, which is the most important part of any CV or resume, holds the reader’s attention. That part of your CV summarises your experience and competencies, and it encourages the reader to peruse the rest of the document.
So, what must be there?
Your name and contact details: You’d be surprised at the number of people that miss out on job opportunities because of wrong phone numbers or email addresses. You can also include your LinkedIn profiles or professional website here.
Your branding statement or professional summary: This section should have 1 or 2 paragraphs. It is essentially the summary of your career portfolio and it describes what you bring to the table, who you are, your skills and your strengths. This section is an excellent way for you to grab the attention and persuade recruiters to continue reading your CV because you’re telling them from the beginning exactly why they should hire you. For example, If you are a Project Manager, what portfolios have you managed? What is the largest budget you have handled? How many years of experience do you have? Try highlighting real, relevant skills. What you write here will also depend on the stage of career you are in. Are you an experienced hire or a recent graduate? In this part specificity gets you noticed and makes the reader want to read more.
The next section will be dependent on a number of factors. If you are a recent graduate with little or no relevant work experience you might opt to put your education section next and detail the course modules, dissertation, or projects. If you are transitioning into a new industry or role, you may include a competency or skills section demonstrating transferable skills or you may include an education section detailing the course you have taken or professional certifications you have passed to show you are investing in your career transition.
If you are an experienced hire just looking to get a new job, you may include a skill section or you can have career highlights or an achievement section-your career highlights are the top achievements in your career that demonstrate that your work produces results.
The next section should be your professional experience or career history: After you have successfully held the reader’s attention, they will be inclined to read your CV further. The professional experience part is likely where the Recruiter decides whether he or she is calling you for an interview or not.
In summary, every part of your CV is important, and every section should be custom-tailored for every job you apply for but give more attention to the top 1/3 of your CV.