A recruiter or employer will spend on average a maximum of 7 seconds reading a CV. It is vital, therefore, that you show them within the first few lines how you have the relevant experience and skills.
So how do you show you can do the job?
- Read the relevant job adverts and make a note of the duties and skills mentioned
- Then look at your CV and compare this against what employers look for
- If there is an area of experience or skill you have but haven’t mentioned in your CV, you should include it in sufficient detail
- If you don’t have that experience or skill, mention any transferable experience or skills you do have
2. You don’t come across as a person who contributes to the team and business
Most employers and recruiters don’t just want someone who does their job and goes home – they want an employee who contributes to the team and organisation. You can show you do this by mentioning your relevant achievements and explaining the wider effect of what you did.
Potential effects that you can mention include:
- saving the business time
- saving the business money
- solving a problem faced by the team or business
- making money for the business
- increasing customer awareness of the business
- increasing the competitiveness of the business
So instead of saying, ‘I did X’ say ‘I did X and this resulted in Y’ (Y being one of the potential effects mentioned above).
3. You haven’t accounted for your weaknesses in the CV
If you don’t address your weaknesses in your CV, the employer may be deterred from inviting you to an interview. Examples of weaknesses would be:
- Job Hopping – employers are concerned about candidates that have job hopped because it costs money to recruit an employee. If you have recently left a series of positions after being in those roles for less than 2 years and you left because of circumstances beyond your control such as the closure of the business or relocation, mention the reason in your CV. If you left the job for a negative reason e.g. a disagreement with your manager, leave this out as it doesn’t add value to your CV.
- Gaps in employment – if you have any gaps in employment which are longer than 6 months, you should have a sentence explaining what you were doing in this time, for example, travelling or studying.
- Under/over qualified – if you are under/over qualified employers think you may leave the job because you won’t be competent to the level they require or that you are too competent and will get bored and leave. You can address this by including an objective section in your CV with a few lines acknowledging that although you may have less or more experience you are interested in the role because of X, Y and Z – this will lessen any concerns the employer has about you.