Your curriculum vitae or CV is one of the most important documents you will probably write in your life. We all know what it’s for. Much like Charlie’s Golden Ticket to the chocolate factory, your CV works as your pass into a job or a company that can be the start of a very exciting and fulfilling professional career. So if you really love chocolates—err—we mean if you really want the position you’re applying for, then all the more that a well-written and impressive CV becomes important.
Now this begs the question: what exactly do you write on your CV?
The biggest challenge when writing and presenting your CV is getting noticed. Whether you’re submitting online to different job portals or giving a hard copy to a recruiter during a job fair, it’s very important to know what information to include so that employers pay attention and eventually write your name under their shortlisted candidates.
To help you out, here are 5 things you should include in your CV because employers are definitely going to be on the lookout for them:
1. Keywords Related to the Job Posting
Most hiring managers go through a sea of CVs daily and it would be a pain if they would have to read through every sentence and every section on them. That’s why they use their time efficiently by skimming through the CVs in search of the keywords that are relevant to the job or position they are hiring for.
For example, if they need a Senior Manager for Corporate Communications, they might look for CVs that contain words that are frequently used in this particular line of work such as media relation management, mentoring and leadership, marketing and promotions, etc. This saves them a lot of time and helps them weed out irrelevant applications.
So before sending that CV out, make sure it’s tailor-made for the particular position you’re applying for. Carefully study the details of the job as advertised on the job posting and spot relevant keywords that you can match with your experience and skills.
2. Exaggerated Skills
Recruiters are also very wary of CVs that claim exaggerated skill sets that do not match the professional background or profile of the applicant. In fact, according to a 2014 study conducted by Careerbuilder, a global leader in human capital solutions, 57 per cent of 2,000 hiring managers who were interviewed said that the most common lie they see on CVs is exaggerated claims on the applicant’s skills.
So, don’t go down this path. Write skills that you really have and reflect your professional background. If you are not yet confident with your skills or want to add more to your current abilities, there are part-time courses perfect for working Singaporeans that you can take to improve your career prospects in the future.
3. Achievements (Not Just Experiences)
Recruiters spend an average of six seconds on your CV according to research published by TheLadders, an online job-matching company. So it’s best to put your achievements at the top of your CV where recruiters can easily read them.
Also, instead of just giving a long list of where you’ve been and what you’ve done (experience), it’s better to highlight the most important and impressive accomplishments you actually did in each job title. Highlighting your actual achievements will help you stand out and make recruiters read your CV longer than six seconds.
4. Certifications and Credentials
If you have titles or an advanced degree, which are considered assets in your field, don’t forget to include them immediately after your name at the top of your CV. Doing this will make sure the hiring manager won’t miss this very important information while quickly scanning your CV. More detailed information about your titles, certifications, and other credentials can appear under the Education section of your CV.
5. Online Presence and Relevant URLs
Your CV gives a cut-and-dried look at your professional background and progression, but you should also include links to your social media profile, personal domain, or online portfolio so that employers can learn more about you, see your personal brand, and how you add value to your industry.
Since the advent of social media and the internet, social recruiting has become an important part of finding the right candidates for a job. Hiring managers have learned how to effectively use these platforms as recruitment tools. According to recruiting software company, Jobvite, in 2014, 73% of hiring managers used social media to hire a candidate.
With that said, you should remember to keep your social profiles updated and make sure they reflect your current job goals. For example, if you’re looking for a job as a Learning and Development Manager, your LinkedIn profile should have details about trainings and workshops you have done or participated in.
Pro Tip: Want to know how to have a professional LinkedIn profile that will impress recruiters? Check out this LinkedIn Cheat Sheet now.
All content is produced and published by IMPACT! Brand Communications.