CV Makeover Tips

Time to update your CV? The job market is buoyant so it’s a great time to be considering your next move.  If you haven’t applied for a new job for a while your CV might need a revamp, not just a new paragraph describing your latest role. Here’s why it’s important, the latest CV trends in recruitment and why it’s relevant in technology sales recruitment.

CV design fashion changes regularly

The CV that secured you your last job interview won’t necessarily secure your next one.  If you’ve ever been a hiring manager, you’ll know from experience how many CVs you have to scan to compile your interview shortlist.  No matter how much effort a candidate has put into describing their student part-time supermarket job, the 100 words they’ve wasted valuable space on will do nothing to catch the eye of the very busy reader.

Recruiters are looking for key words and skills that the hiring manager has told them are must-haves. Your mission is to predict what these are likely to be and make them jump off the page – or screen – when buried in a pile of very similar looking two-page documents.  Recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds scanning a CV.

Here are a few tips to help you:

1. Create a sales leaflet, not an autobiography

Sections, columns, white space, sub-headings, colour, images and iconography – just some of the techniques candidates are using to create an eye-catching CV.  You don’t have to be a graphic designer to turn a text heavy Word document into something a little more modern and appealing to recruiters.

2. Give more space to your most recent and longest roles

It’s surprising how many candidates try to give equal space to all of their previous roles.  But a few less sentences on a job from 10+ years ago leaves space for more detail on your current role where you’ve stayed for 5 years.  Don’t be afraid to get briefer as you go back in time. 

3. Should I include a photo?  My Date of Birth?

It is illegal in the UK to discriminate on the basis of factors such as age, gender or ethnicity.  Candidates should feel under no obligation to reveal anything about themselves that they’re not comfortable with.  However, something visual like a photo will instantly catch the eye of the recruiter or hiring manager as they scan through CVs and we’re seeing lots of candidates including them.  On Date of Birth, it’s fine not to include but if you’ve been honest about your work experience and education history, recruiters will be able to do the maths. Our advice is to never feel under pressure to reveal or hide your age.  Companies need talent – believe in what you have to offer, regardless of your age or any other factor.  

4. Make it easy to find you online

Do companies need your full postal address?  They’re not likely to send you a postcard, but they might check out your LinkedIn profile to find out more about you.  Include a hyperlink in your digital CV to make it easy for them to find you.  And make sure your information is up to date. 

Conclusion

There are hundreds of ways to write and layout a CV, many templates available and an abundance of advice out there.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  The most important thing is to make sure your CV represents you and showcases what you have to offer to a company, in a quick, eye-catching and engaging way.

BMS Tech Sales will work with you to fine tune your CV before submitting to a company.  With the right CV and the right recruitment agency behind you, your next career move is well within reach.