Despite all the advice around on “how to get a job” few people actually apply the advice. If it’s not succinct and relevant why would a busy recruiting manger keep ploughing through it? If you have a few years under your belt it can be even harder to reduce the length of the document. But the CV and covering letter are key sales documents for someone looking for a job. Expert CV write Ian Viner gives some advice.
It never ceases to amaze me why some people continue to produce five or even seven page CVs in the current climate because guess what? Nobody is going to read them! So start reducing them down now. Make them short, sharp and punchy.
Recruiters and employers will be put off from reading a CV which is too long, and you only have a few seconds to make an impression. Similarly make it easy for the reader to find out how to contact you by having your telephone number and email address at the top of the page - not at the bottom of the final page.
You can get your 20 year career on to two pages by following some very basic principles. Start with a profile which spells out exactly what it is that you do. "A highly strategic and results driven Sales Director" is going to be far more productive than "A hardworking, reliable and trustworthy individual." (Errm – we expect these qualities as a given!)
The profile also needs to highlight your main strengths so tell the reader what you are all about, and what you have consistently done over your career as a Sales Director. Summarise your key skills and write them down in the context in which you have used them. You cannot be a good Sales Director without having outstanding presentation skills but you have to mention that you use them in presenting to high profile customers or clients.
A lot of older people tend to mention every single job going back to their school days but this is really not needed. Concentrate on the jobs you have had in the past ten to 15 years with fewer bullet points in the earlier roles.
Don't use fancy logos for the bullets either - stick to round black dots to be safe. Furthermore you can either remove the earlier jobs altogether or create an "Earlier Career" section where you simply list the job title and employer but leave the dates out as we don't want to advertise your age.
A short section entitled Qualifications and Training is always useful to summarise any degrees or courses, but I never include A Levels or GCSEs as they are now irrelevant once you have a few years work experience under your belt. Finally include a line of Interests by all means but don't write a story about them.
Use a sans serif font (Arial is always a crowd pleaser),at least size 10, but 11 or 12 is better, black on white good quality paper (100g weight is good) with plenty of space.
Check and double check for typing and spelling errors. I know it’s a statement of the obvious but far too many CVs contain errors and that immediately undermines the quality of the document.
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