Monday, 25 November 2013

Top 10 CV Do’s & Don’ts

A Curriculum Vitae is an essential marketing tool and getting an interview can depend on how good your CV is. The way you present your CV can have an overwhelming influence over whether your CV is even read, let alone get an interview. You need to consider what to include, how much detail is needed and how to make your CV stand out from others.

  1. Construct your CV with your prospective employer in mind. Look at the job advert or specification and think about what the job involves, and what the employer needs. Find out about the employer, culture, operating style and make your experience relevant.
  2. Tailor your CV to the job. Your CV shouldn't be your life story but should be tailored for the job you're applying for, focusing on the aspects that are important for that role. 
  3. Make it clear and tidy. Check your spelling and grammar and read it through carefully. It’s amazing how many CV’s have spelling mistakes in them.
  4. Place the important information up-front. Put experience and education achievements in reverse chronological order. Include experience and interests that might be of use to the employer: IT skills, voluntary work, foreign language competency, driving skills, leisure interests that demonstrate team skills and organisation/leadership skills. 
  5. Quote concrete outcomes to support your claims. For example, ‘This reduced the development time from 7 to 3 days’ or ‘This revolutionised the company’s internal structure which led to a reduction in overheads from £2.3million to £1.7m per year’. 
  1. Include information which may be viewed negatively – failed exams, divorces, failed business ventures, reasons for leaving a job. Don’t give the interviewer any reason to not include you. 
  2. Make your CV more than three pages long. You can free up space by leaving out or editing information that is less important. For example, you do not need to include referees or include a detailed account all of the jobs you have held since school. Place more emphasis and detail on the recent and most relevant ones. Add details about your most recent qualifications, which are more relevant, but summarize the rest. 
  3. Dilute your important messages. Don’t bother with a list of schools you attended or a long list of hobbies. Such things like this and school grades can be summarised. Concentrate on demonstrating the skills they require, what you have achieved and what benefits your clients have gained from your work. 
  4. Use jargon, acronyms, technical terms - unless essential. 
  5. Lie – In this era of the “Information economy” people and employers have many ways of checking what you say is true, and may dismiss you from the process or at worst employment if they find this is untrue.
If you do not have the time to create a new CV or you feel you need expert assistance with re-writing or re-modelling your document why not join up to our Talentrack career consultancy programme.  

For further information click here

Monday, 18 November 2013

Are companies looking for the perfect CV missing out?

Are companies looking for the perfect CV missing out? The perfect CV doesn't always belong to a perfect candidate.

Many organisations still place too much emphasis on CV’s rather than the actual candidate. Many companies only consider interviewing applicants who have perfectly written CVs and as such many potentially great employees are being dismissed too quickly.

Mistakes are part of the learning process, why should a mistake detract from a CV? If it’s true that the person who never made a mistake never made anything, why should a tarnished CV hinder a career? Insisting on perfect doesn't make sense, especially not in a skills shortage.

In the 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers Global CEO survey, nearly 70% of CEO's complained about a talent shortage. Meanwhile 25% of ‘star’ performers hired with often impeccable CVs expect to quit their current role within the next twelve months.

At interview, good people can become disillusioned at relentless questioning over a perceived weak point in their career… perhaps what looks like a poor job choice or a quick job change. These things happen, and while they are often logically explained, many employers get concerned about one small detail and not the bigger picture.

The result is that everyone now chases after the same ‘star’ candidates, making the situation of skills shortage doubly difficult.  If employers were more willing to take a calculated risk and interview other high performing individuals, the war for talent might well be eased. In his excellent book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins states: “Good-to-great companies place more weight on character than on specific skills or experience.” These companies place emphasis on a candidate’s outlook, personal values and approach over their experience or qualifications. 

Correct culture fit combined with behaviour and skills often say more about a candidate’s suitability than an excellent academic record. For these enlightened companies, obvious candidate credentials are only part of the story and they reap the rewards of this more open minded approach to hiring.

In our view, it’s essential for organisations to work harder at pinpointing the values and behaviours that will define success and look at candidates who match these criteria. It’s vital to include sound judgement, team compatibility, resilience to pressure, curiosity, desire to learn, self-motivation and commercial ability.

We work hard to help companies understand there is a lot more talent out there that can be utilised to greater advantage. So it’s not about accepting second best – it’s about delivering a true competency, culture and values based recruitment model to your organisation.