Everyone knows you never get a second chance to make a first impression. But what some job seekers do not realise is that a CV is the first impression you leave on a prospective employer so it is no exaggeration to say that a bad CV can ruin your chances of being hired.
It is also important to have a CV because of the following 3 reasons:
- It is a Record: Keeping a CV and updating it regularly will help you keep track of all of your minor accolades, many of which you might forget if you don’t organise them all in one place.
- It Demonstrates Professionalism: Skills aren’t everything when you are on the job market. Often it isn’t about what you can do so much as how you can do it. Companies want employees who present themselves as polished professionals.
- It is a Reference: For employers, a CV is helpful simply for keeping track of candidates. Your CV is the point of reference that keeps you visible to employers during the hiring process.
What Do Recruiters Look For in a CV?
Successful CVs stand out for many reasons, but recruiters primarily look for the following traits when evaluating the document you give them:
- Presentation: Aesthetics are the first thing anyone reading your CV will notice. Does it look like a typical, cookie-cutter template? Is it easy to read at a glance? Is the information organised in a thoughtful manner? Is the document clear, efficient and precise? Inconsistent formatting, typos, and uncommon file formats are all quick ways present yourself in a negative light.
- Relevance: Employers are interested in the relevant aspects of your professional history. So they probably don’t need to know about your part-time high school job as a car washer or that you are interested in collecting coins unless those things are directly related to the job for which you are applying. Don’t include things just to fill out the CV; every item on your list should be relevant to the task at hand.
- Experience: Of course, the contents of your CV are critical too. Employers want to know what experience you have in the profession, or what skills you possess that will help you thrive in the role.
Key Skills to Highlight in Your CV
When putting together a CV, it can sometimes be hard to determine what skills or experiences to include and what to leave off.
The following types of information are relevant examples of what skills to highlight on a CV:
- Arranged meetings with senior management personnel
- Distributed and filed new employee paperwork
- Contacted customers and suppliers to arrange deliveries and receive orders
- Managed transition of data from Microsoft 98 OS to Windows XP
- Undertook digitisation project to scan the physical file and transfer to the cloud-based servers.
- Successfully mediated conflicts between staff members
- Drafted and distributed interdepartmental memos
- Read market reports and trend forecasts and 1-page business abstracts laying out all the key data and conclusions
- Evaluated candidates for new positions and wrote brief reviews during hiring process
- Recorded minutes of all executive level meetings
- Oversaw customer service, financial, and administrative operations in the main office
- Managed and trained two administrative assistants
- Ordered raw materials and managed the receipt of all orders, confirming correct amounts and products
- Arranged optimal scheduling for shop floor staff and filled vacancies when employees were sick or on holiday
- Coordinated deadlines and completion estimates between customers and production staff
- Managed and trained multiple new staff members
- Took charge of account management for several customer accounts
- Coordinated business lunches and special events (such as concerts and sporting events) for key clients
- Planned and hosted the annual holiday party
- Hosted weekly employee lunches with staff members from multiple departments
- Coordinated social media marketing campaigns
- Built company website using interactive web design elements with HTML and CSS
- Oversaw backup of company files to a cloud-based storage service
- Managed transition from CD install software to new, scalable SaaS systems
- Managed and organised Excel databases with performance analytics data
- Identified issue in IT systems and provided alternate solutions
- Drafted a report providing ways to streamline office functions, which were later implemented by management
- Replaced traditional office desks with standing desks for all willing employees, which led to an 8% increase in office productivity
- Addressed customer complaints in a timely manner, providing store credit for faulty products
- Implemented flexible scheduling and reduced overall energy consumption by 14% in six months.
- Set up and maintained a company blog online, with more than 5,000 daily visitors
- Drafted new design plans for a product that sold more than 1 million units
- Designed new labels and logo for the company
- Created invitations to the annual holiday party
- Designed brochures and product catalogues for distribution by mail.
- Oversaw payroll for more than 80 employees
- Paid taxes on both federal and state levels
- Utilised Quickbooks for invoicing and accounts payable
- Kept track of profitability via Excel spreadsheets
- Implemented new credit card payment scanners