The time is fast approaching when you (that eager student) will be leaving university/school/college and entering the world of business (unless you are taking a year off). You will be keen to show your brilliance through your CV which is perfectly natural and exciting. Just think, your CV is only ever about you and no one else, so you can say exactly what you want!
Strangely given so much freedom to say so much there are some students (and people in business everywhere) that just go too far and their CV becomes very close to being a work of fiction. Hard to believe I know but it’s true.
My advice is to be honest always on your CV. Yes, you have to be selling yourself but don’t go too far the other way. For example, if you have a basic knowledge of an extra language and can get by on it do not say that you are fluent in it. It could be tempting but you run the chance of being found out and embarrassed. Whilst in conversation with one of my recruitment agency friends recently, she told me of one employer who has used Spanish speaking people to test candidates that say they can speak Spanish!
Remember why you are applying to the company/organisation and tailor your CV accordingly. What are some of the terms that they use and are you using their terminology?
Spell the word Curriculum Vitae correctly. It’s amazing how many people cannot spell it!! Do not be one of them. Spelling mistakes are a big disadvantage and many CVs end up straight in the bin if they have errors. In my experience you would have to be exceptional to have spelling mistakes and still be shortlisted. In essence, spelling mistakes show a lack of attention and if you cannot get that right on your CV (your best selling tool), what would you be like if you were to be employed?
Have your CV checked for those spelling and grammar mistakes but please don’t ask your family or friends. They just love you too much and you really need an objective external check.
Take time working on the content of your CV. Yes, your academic history will be factual and there isn’t a lot you can do to change that but everything else you write down has to be fully considered.
Make absolutely every word count. Do not use words to make yourself look clever (especially if you don’t understand what they mean). Why are you making a certain statement? Does it add or detract from the role you are applying for?
Edit and edit again until you are happy that the words are all needed and they are adding to providing you with great ammunition for getting beyond the ‘CV’ interview to the actual interview.
In Summary my Five Top Tips for CV Brilliance:
- Be honest on your CV
- Tailor your CV for the role you are seeking
- Spell CV correctly
- Have your CV spell checked by an independent person
- Edit until you know each word is valuable
Good luck with putting your CV together. Invest the time and it will pay for you in the long run. A rushed CV shows but a considered CV provides you with a greater opportunity to finally meet the interviewer(s).