Deciding on a career change can be a daunting task. Whether it’s for progression, relocation or a complete career change, navigating a job search can be frustrating and full of potholes.
Making sure you have the skills for your target job is the first step, but the secret to securing an interview is ensuring that your target employer gets a comprehensive overview of your relevant skills..
This is where your CV comes in..
My usual go-to action when a professional approaches me with a CV is to overview the profile through the eyes of the average client I deal with. It’s been found that most recruiters and clients will overview a potential CV for an average of 30 seconds; in that duration, you’re challenged with grabbing their attention and forcing them to delve deeper!
From overviewing thousands of CV’s over the last 7 years and speaking to hundreds of clients, both SME and corporate, there are some common mistakes professionals make when putting their profile together that could affect your chances of securing an interview.
- Length – Keep your CV short and sweet. Ideally 2-3 pages. Use bullet points to keep information concise. Avoid large blocks of text.
- Spelling, Grammar and Font Size Consistency. Attention to detail is something clients value, failing to check your CV will give them the wrong message.
- Missing contact details? CVs get passed around internally. Make sure you can be contacted, no matter what.
- Unprofessional email? email@example.com. May have been a great idea at the time, but always use something professional on your CV.
- Failure to include quantified information. You need more than lists of recent responsibilities. Quantify your sales achievements. Detail the projects you delivered on. This can make a profile stand out.
- Do you use a generic CV for every application? Why not tailor your skills to match the job description. Offer solutions to their skills gap.
Many of the major clients we work with use some form of ATS system (applicant tracking system). These systems screen candidates and rank them in order of suitability to a given role. Do you have the right skills for a role? If your CV is not optimised, you could be overlooked. I’ve included some tips below –
- Make sure you have an ATS friendly file type – Stick to Word Docs, PDFs or Text Files or similar. Avoid image files, or fancy formatting.
- Remove all images from the CV.
- Keywords that are higher in the CV carry more weight. Ensure all the markets, products and skills are included in the summary.
- Maximise the number of relevant keywords across the document – these contribute to job suitability score during recruitment searches.
- Maximise the number of sought after keywords are included.
Of course, the easiest way to optimise your chances of getting a position is to reach out to a specialist recruitment firm. As a mechanical engineering recruitment specialist, Wynne Consulting has over 15 years experience placing professionals. We can offer the best advice and support for your job hunt. Feel free to contact me with a CV for more information firstname.lastname@example.org