Are you or have you ever been job hunting? You send your CV to a company or a recruiter and that’s all she wrote! You don’t hear any feedback let alone get invited to interview?
Whilst I don’t condone radio silence, for instance we will always get back to people who send us CV’s, even if it sometimes takes a while, there could be a reason – especially if it keeps happening with every application you send.
First things first your CV has to be clear and formatted well, in a way that makes it easy to read. If you’ve sent your CV to a recruiter it will be one of hundreds they view a day or a week, it’s got the be easy for our eyes to read and brains to process. The same goes for sending direct to employers, often they will read them at the end of their working day with tired minds and eyes.
Second, it has to be targeted to the job you’re applying for! – Don’t think that you can write just one version of your CV and hope it will suit every single job you send it to. Equally, if you make it general or vague, don’t assume that the reader will know what your job entails just because they are in the same industry. Your CV has to be able to answer some questions that employers and recruiters will have when considering you for a job; Such as –
What skills do you have? How have you gained and then used those skills? Are they and their application going to be a benefit to the job role or business overall? Or even, Why has this person applied?
I’m personally a fan of CV’s that follow along the lines of describing your role, the skills you use and then bullet pointing your achievements within the role. It paints a clear picture of what you do, how and most importantly – what you can bring to the table at interview and beyond.
That last question (Why has this person applied?) could be asked for a number of reasons, most often I ask it because the candidate either is vastly over qualified/experienced or lives miles and miles and miles away. Whilst your CV might not be able to answer this question in those cases, this is where a cover letter comes in very handy!! – If you’re relocating, say so – don’t assume that the reader of the CV will guess this or assume it’s the case – more than likely they will assume that you have simply applied for every job going – an addressed cover letter/email (e.g. Hi Ian/To Ian/Dear Ian etc.) will prove that yours is a considered and deliberate application. Equally, if you’re after a career change then highlight your transferable skills and reasons for your application, otherwise the employer or recruiter is likely to think – as before – that you’re applying for everything going… that is not them being short-sighted or lazy it is them doing their job and trying to find the most suitable and interested person for the job.
One last point, when we do get back to you with feedback, please don’t take it personally, if we’re giving you advice on your CV it is meant in the best possible way and only to help.
For example, I had an application recently full of spelling errors for a job in which attention to detail was of paramount importance. In good faith I advised the applicant to make use of friends and family to proof read their CV before sending out applications – they didn’t think it warranted me rejected their application. What do you think?
I’ve covered these points and more in our CV Writing tips page here