Ten Ways to Improve Your CV and Get That Interview

Get that interview - improve your CV

Ten tips of how to improve your CV to get that job interview. Read on to find out more…..

Job hunting can be a really disheartening and frustrating experience; sometimes it’s downright depressing! As a result of the increasingly competitive graduate job market, it is now more important than ever to have an interesting and self-marketing CV. Your CV has less than a minute to capture the employer’s attention before it ends up in the rubbish pile!

As a recent graduate I have experienced the trials and tribulations of looking for that internship or job you really want. My main downfall was my lack of office experience. Whether you have a lot of experience or not much at all, these ten CV-improving tips can help you. A successful CV doesn’t just display your skills; it frames them in such a way that grabs your potential employer’s attention.

A precise and tailored CV will get you that interview.

1. Tailor your CV for each position

To improve your chances of securing an interview you need to tailor your CV so that it matches the requirements of your potential employer. Use the advertisement for the position as a guide and also have a look at the organisation’s website to get an overview of the company’s ethos. Then decide how to make your experience match the requirements of the position and ethos of the company.

2. Start your CV with a short personal statement or key skills paragraph

After your name and contact information you should have a short paragraph or a few bullet points outlining who you are and what skills you can bring to the position. As a result, your skills and experience are clear to your potential employer right from the beginning.

3. Focus on what you have learnt when writing about work experience

The work experience section on your CV shouldn’t just be a list of the various work experience and jobs you have held. The focus of this section should be on the knowledge and transferable skills you have gained from each experience. As a result your potential employer can see you have the skills required for the job, even if you are changing career path.

4. Do the same when writing about academic achievements

It is obviously important to list your education on your CV. However emphasising what you have learnt as a result, is just as valuable to a potential employer looking to assess whether you have the right skills for the job.

5. Find yourself an interesting hobby or skill

It is good to have an ‘Interests’ section on your CV. You can include hobbies, sport or foreign travel; you never know your hobby might help you get the job! Don’t forget to be specific though – instead of writing that you enjoy ‘reading’, try and explain which author or genre!

6. Always be specific

Throughout your CV be specific and get straight to the point. Whilst selling yourself try not to use vague or general phrases and most importantly, make sure you don’t ramble!

7. Presentation is important

Avoid complicated layouts when it comes to your CV. Instead, opt for a clear, easy to read structure that goes from section to section. It should be as concise and organised as possible.

8. Check and check again for spelling and grammatical errors

This one is obvious but extremely important! Spelling and grammatical errors make CVs look unprofessional and rushed so make sure you check over yours again and then get your friend to check too!

9. Always have a cover letter

Unless you are told not to, you should always attach a cover letter to your CV. You can use this cover letter as an opportunity to describe in more detail why you are the perfect candidate for the position you are applying for.

10. Avoid copying anyone else’s CV

This is completely pointless – how is your CV going to stand out if it’s a copy of somebody else’s?!

By adjusting your CV in these ways you will have a tailored, concise but detailed CV. A short personal statement ensures your skills are outlined right from the start and you can continue this by making clear the transferable skills you have gained at work and university. However, make sure you tailor your CV so that these skills are the ones required for that job you really want. Remember, if you really want that job, you really should research that company!


This has been a Guukle guest post

Lucy Manning was a recent intern at Graduate Coach and learnt about CV and Interview Coaching. She now works as a Junior Digital Marketing Manager for LimeTreeOnline . For more information on CV and Interview Tips, visit www.graduatecoach.co.uk