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5 CV tips to ensure you nab that all important job interview

Whilst the rise of video and quirky CVs may be reported in the news, it is safe to say that the best way to capture the attention of an HR manager is a good quality well-written cv.  In this article, we take a look at some cv tips that will help bag you an interview for your next job.

It’s worth mentioning that the initial screening for some jobs can be through an automated process. Be sure to scan through your cv to check that you have included relevant keywords for the role.  For example, if you have an interest in facilities services or the hospitality industry then include these keywords, even if it is simply talking about your ideal role in your summary.

1.      The basics

If possible, ignore cv templates and follow a simple structure which best allows you to demonstrate your skills and experience.  Using a template can sometimes look a bit forced and not easy to read.

Always include relevant contact details, your career history and your qualifications; both academically and on the job training or certifications. 

Top tip – Where possible, keep your cv to just two pages – often hiring managers make a decision on whether to send you for interview within a few short minutes, so if they are trawling through a lengthy novel they will just switch off and move onto the next candidate. 

Place a link to your LinkedIn profile under you contact details. An added bonus is that you will able to see if the interviewer has checked your profile before your interviewing you.

2.      Write a killer summary

This is the introductory paragraph where you can really tailor your cv for the job you are applying for.  Include key words for the job description and mention proof points for why you would be ideal for the job.  Use statistics where possible e.g “I was responsible for saving £50k in costs through the energy efficiency project that I led”.  Keep the paragraph short and snappy.

Read it back to yourself to make sure that it sounds punchy. Does it answer the question “Why should I send this candidate for interview?”

3.      Main body

When going through your cv, each time you go to update it, check through the whole document to make sure you are using the same tone of voice e.g. I was responsible/I am responsible/responsible for so that the cv reads as a fluid document rather than something that is updated with a different style each time.

As with the killer summary, use specific examples of achievements or skills that you demonstrated which match up with the job description.  Keep a “master” version for you and then each time you are applying for a new role, create a cv that is just focused on that role.  You can then tailor the whole cv for the job you are aiming for and pull out different skills or experiences depending on the job requirements.

Always proof read your cv to check for typos and even ask a friend or colleague to read it again. These can slip through and unfortunately look unprofessional.  Be sure that your cv aligns with your LinkedIn profile as the recruiter or HR Manager will also check there. 

Your LinkedIn profile is also an opportunity to show some personality as well as your interests and motivations built up over a period of time.  It may even be a chance for you to post an introduction video so that they can get a feel for who you are and how well you come across.

4.      Include a cover note

When you are ready to submit your cv, its time to write a brilliant cover note all about why you are the ideal candidate for the role.  The best way to approach this is to imagine the cover note as a short advert to get the recruiter or hiring manager to firstly read your cv and secondly to invite you to interview.  Pick three things that you want to be remembered for that demonstrate why you would be ideal for the role.  Share what it is about the job that is the right fit for you.

5.      Follow up

Its always worth a follow up if you have the direct contact details.  It shows that you are really keen to work for that company and that you have a professional approach.  It may be that you haven’t heard from them because you weren’t successful in being invited to interview, but equally, deadlines may have slipped, or the hiring manager may think you could be a good fit for the company if not that role.  By opening up a conversation with them, you never know what opportunities may be available to you.

Have you seen the perfect role with Elton Recruitment?

We are proud to work closely with both our clients and candidates to get a high placement rate for roles that we are recruiting for.  If you think you may have seen a role on our website that is ideal for you, do get in touch and find out more about the role. 

We always work with candidates that we feel could be a potential fit for our clients and can support you with developing your cv or preparing you for interview.