How to improve your CV?

Many people think that they can’t improve their CV.
This is actually a very common mistake. And if you think your CV can't be improved, then you are probably wrong!

At CV consultants we haven't once received a CV that we couldn't improve.
Indeed, in most instances we make vast improvements.

Of course, this is far easier said than done, and is a specialist skill, but the advice below should give you an idea of what is involved.

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  1. The most obvious thing about your CV is how it looks. So if your CV doesn't look good, then one idea is to use a CV template.

  2. First impressions also count for a lot if you want your CV to be read. CV presentation plays a key part, but so does CV length. Just be aware that the longer your CV is, the less enticing it is to read. So if your CV is three or more pages, it is probably too long and needs refining down. Again, this is easier said than done. However, the best CV writers can write powerfully but concisely.

  3. Once your CV looks the part and it is a good length then your chances of having a read will increase. At the same time, this is only the start of the battle. Now comes the hard part; selling yourself.

  4. There is a lot more to selling yourself on a CV than people realise. For example, some people think that it's just a matter of adding as much information as possible. However, that just isn't the case. Sales and marketing companies don't overdo things when they try to sell a product or service. On the contrary, they optimise their sales message. Most sales and marketing sales messages are short but focused and powerful. That is what you need to aim for on your CV too. Again, this is far easier said than done, which is why a lot of people have CVs which don't sell themselves enough, or send out the wrong messages.
  5. As you can see, there is more to improving your CV than meets the eye. And just getting this far is hard enough. However, hypothetically speaking, let’s say that you now have a very presentable and highly legible CV which is a good length and which sells yourself powerfully.  

Surely that's enough to get you the job isn't it?

Unfortunately not, because in addition to all of the above, you also need to target your CV towards the job in question. This means assessing what the employer is looking for, and tailoring your CV accordingly. Again, this is easier said than done, because you need to do this naturally and realistically. As with all the above, it is a specialist skill. But it's what we do for clients on a daily basis and if you need help in this respect and we can help you.

The above original content is based on extracts from a CV book by one of our senior consultants, and is not for copy or distribution.

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