The end of the holidays and the new school year will be with us in a few weeks. If that’s got you thinking about re-igniting your own career Victoria McLean, Founder and CEO of career consultancy City CV, has some tips to get your CV in great shape.
Returning to professional life can be daunting. But a career break should never hold you back. The first step in your back-to-work plan is to make sure you have a professional, targeted and compelling CV that highlights your relevant strengths, achievements and skills.
Here are my top tips for creating a CV that will convince prospective employers of your value to them:
1. Tailor your CV to your target role
Think about what the employer really needs. What skills are they looking for? Why would they pick you over potentially hundreds of other candidates? Be positive and make a list of your skills and achievements from previous roles and personal experiences that demonstrate you have what it takes to match their requirements.
2. Get up to speed on Applicant Tracking Systems
If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, you may not know about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). These work like a search engine – scanning CVs for key words. If your CV is to get past the ATS and onto the desk of a real human, you need to identify the key words from the job description – and then use them.
3. Don’t start with a gap
Mention your career break, but keep it simple and lean. Include a short ‘Career Break’ section under your work experience, with dates, including any professionally-relevant activities such as skilled volunteering or a home-based business.
4. Cherry pick
It can be a challenge to distil a long or varied career into two pages. But, it is possible if you highlight exceptional projects, skills and experience that align with your target role. Facts and figures are a great way to reinforce your results and achievements.
5. Don’t forget about the six-second test
On average, recruiters take just six seconds to decide whether to reject a CV or read on – so it needs to be compelling. Would your current CV pass this test? If you’re not sure, sign up for our next CV webinar below.
‘The Perfect CV’ FREE webinar with Women Returners and Victoria McLean, founder and CEO, City CV
As founder and CEO of City CV, Victoria has reviewed over 50,000 CVs over the course of her career and many of our clients have benefited from her workshops at the Women Returners annual conference. In this webinar, Victoria shares her knowledge on how to market yourself and build an effective business case on your CV. She’ll be talking about how to create a personal career story that showcases your most relevant achievements and helps you open that door to the job interview. We’ll also delve into the details of CV writing, with lots of practical tips.
Sign up to the webinar here
When: Thursday 26 September 2019
Time: 12.30pm to 1.30pm