Having worked with a number of experienced recruiters for the last few years I have come to learn what they look for in a CV, and I want to share this knowledge with candidates not just applying to roles with Aaron Wallis, but also new job roles in general.
Here is a crucial list of the top ten things a Recruiter wants to see on your CV in 2014:
Reverse Chronological Order – When a Recruiter opens up your CV they want to see what your most-recent job first so make sure that you lay out your CV in Reverse Chronological Order. Start with your current/most recent job first, followed by each of your previous jobs in date order.
Spelling & Grammar – If you want to make a good impression on a Recruiter then ensure that your CV does not have spelling or grammatical mistakes. Check it over thoroughly and after that get a friend to do the same to make ‘double sure’.
A line on “what the company is, and does” – A Recruiter wants to know if you’re relevant for their role and can’t always tell straight away just by the name of your employer. Take a line to explain what the company does, the products and services provided and the industries that it serves.
Links to Social Media – It’s great to have links to social media on your CV but make sure they show you in a ‘good light’! The last thing a Recruiter wants to see is a potential candidate somewhat ‘under the cosh’ and partying at weekends!
Key Achievements – This is probably the most important part of writing your CV. Your key achievements need to be engaging to demonstrate that you are a competent achiever in your current and previous roles. This is where you can really sell yourself but be sure to have sufficient evidence to back up all claims at interview.
Paragraph with Bullet Points – A Recruiter wants to know what you have done in a previous role that could relate to the role you are currently applying for. However, at the same time, they don’t want to read paragraph after paragraph full of waffle. Write a simple paragraph on your role with bullet points for your key achievements and make it stand out.
Explain Gaps in CV – Firstly, you need to be honest when it comes to gaps in your CV; acknowledging and explaining a gap in your CV won’t harm your chances, however, lying about it most definitely will. Whether it is illness, travelling, redundancy or caring for a family member, be positive with your approach. An unexplained gap is a warning sign to a Recruiter, and your application could be disregarded straight away.
Stand out Hobbies – Be specific with your hobbies and don’t just use generic sayings like “socialising with friends." Try to tailor your hobbies to the role that you are applying for; for instance, if you are applying for a team leader role, and you have captained a team before, then it may help to note this as it shows your leadership abilities.
Correct Contact info & Best Time to Talk – There is nothing worse for a Recruiter than thinking they have come across the perfect candidate only to find that the contact number on the CV or a number that is ‘dead’. Therefore, keep your CV updated with a current contact information and also note a best time to talk so you don’t get hassled during work hours.
Experience for the Job – Finally, it’s no good having done all the above to your CV if you don’t have the correct experience for the role. In almost every advert a Recruiter will have detailed prerequisite skills and experience necessary to apply for the role. So, make sure that you’re meeting the minimum required criteria before applying, or at least refer to why you feel that you are right in a covering note. Failing to do this will mean that you will not make the shortlist.
Written by Liam Oakes
Liam is the Office Manager at Aaron Wallis and has been with the company for 3 years after having a career with the RAF; Liam has helped hundreds of Sales Professionals secure a new Sales role and ensures that Aaron Wallis runs smoothly.
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