Is your CV failing to hit the mark? Then it might not be your experience and skills letting you down but your CV itself. Your CV is the chance for you to make a fantastic first impression. However, if it doesn’t make an impact on recruiters, then you’ll notice a lacklustre response to your job hunting.

As recruiters are busy people, your CV will only get a few seconds’ worth of attention. In that time, your CV needs to show exactly why you are the perfect candidate for the role and how you tick every box.

So, how can you transform your failing CV into a successful one and consequently boost your interview success rate?




Assess your goals

If your CV is failing to hit the mark, then it may be time to assess what you want your CV to do. Of course, the primary aim of your CV should be to land interviews. However, if you are looking for admin summer positions but your CV does not show any examples of admin skills, then it is unlikely to stand out to recruiters.

Make sure your CV aligns with your goals and clearly shows the recruiters how you can transition into their role.


Start from scratch

In some cases, when a CV is edited over and over again, it can lose its impact and can appear clunky and disjointed. If your CV is failing to hit the mark, then it may be time to scrap your existing CV and to start a fresh, new CV from scratch.

You may think that creating a new CV from scratch will take a long time. However, it is often much easier to get the flow and energy in a new CV which can make it much quicker and easier to write. Read up on some CV examples and then create the CV masterpiece that reflects your career goals and allows you to shine.


Put yourself in the employer's shoes

Try to read your CV as if you are a hiring manager. As you read your CV, compare it to the job description. Does it cover all the points raised in the job advert and does it show exactly why you’re the ideal candidate?

If you put yourself in the employer’s shoes, think about what they want to see. For example, they’ll want to pick out the keywords and skills that they’re looking for by simply glancing at your CV; they’ll also want a clear and concise career history so they can assess your experience. Put yourself in their shoes and determine what they are looking for an ensure your CV matches up.


Make it easier to read

There is nothing worse than a CV that is overly long and complex. Furthermore, it is even worse if that CV has a weak structure or layout which makes it even harder to find the information the recruiter is looking for.

Make sure your CV really easy to read by ensuring it follows a clear structure and uses headings well. Ensure your CV is a maximum of two sides long and focus on using short, impactful sentences that are full of the keywords and skills that the job description is looking for.


Cut out irrelevant details

You may have a vast and varied career history, and you may think the more detail and experience you include the better. However, recruiters are only looking for an experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

If your volunteering, employment from ten years ago or some of your qualifications are not transferrable to the role that you are applying for, then leave these details out and make the most of the limited space on your CV to talk about the achievements, qualifications and experience that is relevant.


Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.


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