When job seekers go on the hunt for a new job, it’s easy to get a little too obsessed with creating the perfect CV. Although, it’s important to pause and ask yourself why is a CV important? Of course, having a good CV is the golden ticket to interviews and job offers. But could you be placing far too emphasis on your curriculum vitae for securing your dream job?
Why Is a CV Important?
Your CV is your most valuable tool to get to the job interview stage. Therefore, the more effort you put into tailoring your CV to the job you are applying for, the more likely you are to get an interview.
In brief, there are a few golden rules to follow when writing or updating your CV:
- Make your contact details clear, particularly your email address and phone number
- Always list your career history in reverse chronological order (most recent first)
- Use bullet points instead of long-winded sentences
- Make sure your key skills stand out
- Leave out any personal details such as your marital status
However, in order to survive the application process and get the job you are applying for, you will need more than just good CV writing skills. Listing your work history in chronological order in no longer than two pages is a skill in itself but it will take more than that to land your dream job!
Five Things You Should Focus on When Applying for Jobs
Here are 5 other things that can have far more weight in the application and interview process than a record of your qualifications and previous jobs:
Great Interview Technique
If you have charisma and confidence combined with a good understanding of the job, you can really wow at interview! However, you also need to be able to back up whatever claims you make on paper with examples that bring your work experience to life.
Preparation is key when it comes to interviewing. We learn best by making mistakes but don’t waste precious time by making those mistakes in a real-life interview. Feedback from friends and family can be invaluable in interview preparation. Ask them to help you practice answering interview questions and pay attention to their feedback.
A great interview can convince an employer that transferable skills acquired from previous jobs make up experience you may be lacking. On the flip side, if your CV is amazing but you come across as ill-prepared you don’t have a chance of landing the job.
In-depth Knowledge of the Company
Many applicants take a cursory look at their potential employer’s website when applying, but this is nowhere near enough research to impress and stand out from other applicants. You need to understand what goes on within the business in order to see where you fit. Understanding its culture and how you might solve some of its problems will help you write a killer cover letter and ace your interview.
If you haven’t researched the company you’re interviewing with, how do you know you even want the job?
A Professional Online Presence
Personal branding is more important than ever when job hunting and much of this happens online. A survey by CareerBuilder found that 35% of the 2,000 U.S. employers they surveyed would be less likely to interview a candidate if they couldn’t find information about them online. Crucially, you need to carefully curate this information so as to create a good impression.
It is advisable to edit your public Facebook and Twitter profiles to make them look more professional. A well thought out LinkedIn profile takes a little more work but will give you the edge over other candidates. Depending on your niche, you could also consider an online portfolio or a blog to demonstrate your expertise.
Prospective employers want to get a good idea of you as a person, not just your qualifications on paper. Use your application, and indeed your CV, to demonstrate your interests, hobbies and personal goals. When they inevitably ask you to ‘tell us about yourself’ give interviewers something to distinguish you from other applicants. Be remembered as ‘the one who coaches kids at the coding club’ or ‘the one who writes the tech blog’.
There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Knowing how to come across as self-assured and capable is something that requires a lot of practice. Being consistent in every part of your application – from covering letter to interview will help convey this message.
If you need help creating a solid, effective CV and improving your interview technique, why not contact one of our team? Our team of experts can help you fine-tune your job-application skills and give you a greater chance of success when applying for your dream job.