In an increasingly competitive job market, it is essential to know how to produce the perfect CV and how many to have. Candidates are becoming more highly educated, more specialised, they speak more languages and they have more global experience. In short, the competition is better than it has ever been.
Many people make the mistake of sticking to one CV that they constantly change for each new position they apply for, or even worse, don’t change it for each position they apply for. This can waste a huge amount of time, which, if you’re doing the job search properly, you won’t have a lot of – explains Europe Language Jobs, an international job board specialised in multilingual job offers.
But how important is it to have more than one CV at the ready? If you are extremely specialised in the target positions you’re applying to then the likelihood is that your CV will fit many vacancies you come across, without too much editing. You will of course need to alter it a little for the different recipients, but sections like ‘Experience’ and ‘Education’ will stay more or less the same.
If, however, you are one of the many who still isn’t quite sure in what direction they’re heading, then it is better to have a full array of CVs to turn to.
One of the main reasons that recruiters reject CVs is because they are too general, and have clearly been sent to numerous employers and recruitment agencies. Having more than one CV makes it much easier to tailor one for each position and reduce the chance of this happening to you.
But how do you produce an outstanding CV?
Here are some top tips:
Be straightforward. Remember the 6 Second Test: alternatively known as the First Glance Test, this is the brutally short average amount of time that a recruiter will spend scanning your CV. If it doesn’t catch their eye immediately that’s as far as your application will go.
Use keywords. This one is especially important as many CVs nowadays, don’t make it past a keyword scanner – which, bear in mind, isn’t a person.
Prove what you say about yourself. For example, if you are a team player, you can prove it by mentioning that you played in a basketball team for 5 years or that you participated in more than 20 group projects during university.
Write about your achievements. An average CV shows your experience as a list of tasks you had in previous jobs, but a perfect CV also tells something about your achievements.
Avoid generic hobbies and interests (e.g. travelling, movies, music).
Be aware of the CV culture in the country you’re applying for, especially concerning photos. See differences between CVs in the UK and other European countries here.
Stick to 3rd person. E.g. ‘A self-disciplined and driven graduate of Journalism, currently seeking position as a junior editor.’
Avoid standard MS Word templates and formatting. Add a bit of creative flare and colour.
Read more about CV advice here.
More is More
As much as this may not be true in many aspects of life, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have ten or more CVs on your computer – assuming you’re organised enough not to confuse them at the vital time!
Especially after graduation, people’s job searches are generally without a specific target. For example you may be considering jobs in sales, marketing and call centres. You should therefore have a CV for each one that can easily be tailored for specific applications. As mentioned above, once you’ve edited one CV and used it then save it as a separate file. You never know when it will come in useful.
So if your one CV just hasn’t been getting the results you’ve been hoping for then maybe take account of these tips and don’t be afraid to create as many CVs as you feel necessary.
Of course everyone has their own way of working and preferred system but hopefully a few simple steps now should save you some valuable time further down the line.
For more tips, visit Europe Language Jobs` blog.