Bring your CV to the next level
How to bring your CV to the next level
Fancy staying ahead of the competition during your next job search? These 5 tips can help bring your CV to the next level and help you get that next job.
1) The 2 page rule is dead
When I first started in the service industry in Ireland, I was always told to keep my CV to a maximum of 2 pages. I then got to a certain point in my career as I moved up that to fit it in those 2 pages, I had to pick and choose my experience. It was only then when I spoke to a friend who works in the recruitment industry, that I couldn’t have done a worse thing to my CV.
If you have more experience, skills and achievements than another person applying for that job you want why would you not add it to your CV? A good interviewer will want to see this experience so feel free to add as much as you can to your CV within measure. A CV 7 or 8 pages long is of course too much but make sure you sell all your experience on your CV to get called for that interview.
If you find you can only write 1 or 2 pages then that’s fine, but don’t exclude your experience for the sake of the interviewer having to read it, that is exactly what they want to see!
2) Formatting and Structure
Following on from the subject above, another good reason to extend your CV is for space and formatting. Often, when you are trying to fit everything into 2 pages, the formatting can suffer and everything looks crammed in. Use the space make your CV easier to read, there should be some white visible on the CV and is the basis of a well structured CV.
3) Achievements, Achievements Achievements!
I can’t stress enough the importance of adding achievements to your CV. I personally have an achievements list after every role I mention on my CV and usually have 2 – 3 bullet points of things I am proud of achieving in each role. Employee of the month? Good customer review? Positive food review in the media? Make sure you add it to your achievements.
This lends credibility to your experience you’ve mentioned. It also doesn’t have to be individual achievements, any team achievements can be mentioned as you were a part of that. If you can’t think of any, that’s fine but give it some thought to what you might have improved in your previous roles and be sure to add it in at some point
4) Create a LinkedIn profile and add it to your CV
Not many people in the service industry take to LinkedIn or use it often but I have found it very useful when looking for staff over the years. If I am interviewing a person for a job be it, Front of House, Kitchen Porter or Waiter/Waitress, I am immediately impressed if they have a LinkedIn profile and have displayed this on their CV. It allows me to check their profile, put a face to the name ahead of their interview and look at their experience on something more than a sheet of paper.
I also found it very impressive if that person has looked at my profile before the interview as I know they’ve done their research. So don’t think of it as snooping as it is a great tip and can help you put a name to the face too if you have any pre-interview nerves.
5) How to make space on your CV
There are a few things that aren’t necessarily required when applying for a job that can help you make more space on your CV should you feel like you need more space.
Address – Your address isn’t required on your CV (unless stated on the job post) as there is no real need for the person to know where you live at the time of application. If you live maybe 50 minutes drive away from the role you are applying for, that interviewer probably won’t know you drive and are used to a long commute and this might stop them from calling you for an interview.
Taking your address away from your CV will stop this happening and make sure your experience does the talking.
References – Displaying your references on the bottom of your CV isn’t a requirement anymore and can take up some valuable space on your CV and look messy on a well formatted CV. You can add a line to say “References available upon request” or say nothing at all as I am sure that if I was to hire someone, I would ask them either way.
Education – A lot of CV’s that I have seen over the years have a large portion of their space dedicated to their education, for instance a large table including Leaving Cert subjects and grades. This isn’t required anymore unless maybe applying for a graduate job.
A simple couple of lines showing name of your school or college, the years you attended and your overall result is more than fine, use this space to show more of your work experience.