Crafting the perfect CV is a vital part of any jobseeker’s journey…
But even if you’ve listened to all of the available CV advice, templates and tips, there may be even more ways to improve your chances of success – especially when it comes to how visible it is to recruiters. Even registering your CV can have a multitude of benefits, and if written correctly, could lead to you being shortlisted for your perfect position.
Here are our top tips to help you optimise your CV for search, and help recruiters find you:
1. Make the most of your synonyms
In order for your CV to be successfully found by a recruiter, you need to think like a recruiter.
Most hiring managers use a CV search tool to look for a specific keyword, either on its own or in combination with other words (e.g. Sales, Retail Assistant, Retail AND Manager etc.). For this reason, including all kinds of terminology is vital.
For example, if you’re a Retail Assistant, and the recruiter is searching for a Sales Advisor, your CV may not rank very well in the listings (if at all), despite the fact that you have all the appropriate skills.
So ask yourself, could your previous titles be referred to by any other name? If the answer is yes, try and mention these variations at some point in your CV.
Alternatively, if you’re going for an entirely different position, include the title you aspire to. That way, you’re covering all bases.
2. Be industry specific
In addition to searching for job title, many hiring managers will also look for specific skills. To help maximise your potential, use any industry terminology or jargon to your advantage.
For example, if you’ve used any particular software during previous roles, or learnt anything whilst studying which may improve your chances, always make sure you mention them, even if they don’t seem particularly applicable to you at the time.
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the potential omissions and oversights you could be making.
Even something as simple as stating your proficiency in using systems such as Salesforce, or mentioning your previous experience mitigating changes that arose after Google’s Penguin and Panda updates, could help set you apart.
3. Include and expand
Don’t just include every piece of industry specific jargon that applies to you. Expand on it.
For example, saying you’re proficient in Microsoft Office, although potentially true, could be underselling your exact abilities. Instead, stating that you are adept at using Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel (et al) not only underlines your knowledge, it also makes you much more likely to appear in CV searches.
To further increase your chances for success, try stating your current level in a few key areas. Saying you’re an expert in Microsoft Excel/Microsoft Excel expert can be much more effective than simply expressing your competency.
4. Check spelling
Finally, the age old problem: spelling.
Although this point should undoubtedly be made for every CV, it holds particular importance in this scenario. Think about it. Although it looks unprofessional to miss your typos when applying for a vacancy, some recruiters may give you the benefit of the doubt if they like the rest of what they see.
But when it comes to CV search, having the correct spelling is absolutely vital, as searches will not pick up those terms that are spelled incorrectly.
Remember: Re-read everything again and again before submitting.
Spell check is not infallible.
Need more CV advice?
It takes an employer just seven seconds to save or reject a job applicant’s CV. This means creating a succinct CV is absolutely vital if you want to land that all-important interview.
To find out how to make your CV stand out from the crowd, buy James Reed’s new book: The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview.
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