How to turn your CV into a sales tool that will land you your dream job

How to turn your CV into a sales tool that will land you your dream job

Your CV is a vital element in the sculpting of your career. It’s essentially what stands between getting an interview and being overlooked completely. A CV is more than just a list of your qualifications and jobs-to-date; it’s actually a chance to sell your skills to potential employers.

This article is packed with tips to help you turn your CV into a sales tool that will get you the job you’ve always wanted.

 

Tailor your CV to each role you apply for

When you’re job-hunting, it might be tempting to send the same CV to multiple employers to save time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if your CV is impressive, but you’ll stand out even more to potential employers if you take time to tailor it to each role you’re applying for.

Do some research; find out as much as you can about the company and use the job description to help you highlight which of your skills to mention. This will save you time when it comes to interview prepping, and your would-be boss will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to!

 

Personal statement

Your CV should include a short, one paragraph personal statement that explains why you’re the best person for the job you’re applying for. This should include:

  • Any skills you have that are mentioned in the job advertisement
  • Statistics from projects you’ve worked on in previous employment
  • How you can add value to the role
  • Your career aspirations

If you prefer, you could split your personal statement into bullet points to make it more reader-friendly; you don’t want your potential employer getting bored and skimming through the important bits! We’ll talk more about how long your CV should be later.

 

Skills and qualifications

Recruiters and business owners will be keen to see what skills you’ve acquired throughout your career. You should ideally link your key skills to workplace experience and include a range of transferrable, job-related and adaptive skills.

Though you should include any relevant qualifications you have, don’t feel the need to clog up your CV with every exam result you’ve ever got. If you have a qualification that is especially relevant to your desired job role, then it would be sensible to include it, but you don’t need to list all your Junior Certificate results if it’s not necessary to do so.  

 

Former employment

List your previous employment placements in chronological order and provide a brief list of your duties, and how you applied your skills. This will give recruiters and employers a chance to see how you’ve worked before and if there’s anything you’ve done in a previous role that could be transferred into the position they’re offering.

It’s possible that you might have a gap in your employment history. Whilst this isn’t always a cause for concern, employers might ask about them, so it’s a good idea to be prepared. Explaining a gap in your CV won’t harm your chances of getting a job, but lying about it might. Be honest where you can be, and try to put a positive spin on the situation.

For example, if you were struggling to find a job, you could say something like “I took some time out between [date and date] to refocus my career and find a position in my chosen industry”. This puts you in control and displays you as a positive individual who cares about your career.

 

Don’t mention salary expectations

Talking money on your CV can be risky. Including your expectations can put potential employers off if what you’re asking for is higher than the salary they’ve set.

 If you’re new to the job market, putting your pay expectations on your CV might mean that you miss out on an opportunity that pays less than you’d like, but helps you get your foot in the door. Often due to lack of experience, you might be paid the minimum wage until you’ve acquired more skills. But experience is invaluable and if you do well in your job, career advancements and pay rises will come your way.

 

Include specific examples of results

Sometimes, it’s not enough to just state your achievements; you need the data to back it up. Rather than saying that you increased rankings for a website, provide percentages and real-life examples with time frames to really wow the company you’re applying at.

 

Be honest!

It’s a common assumption that everyone tells porkies on their CV, but this is a huge no-no.

Employers will check your background and if they smell a rat, you’re bound to get caught out. Nobody wants to get asked a question they can’t answer during their interview and besides, if you lie on your CV, get the job and then find you can’t actually carry out the role because you don’t have the experience you said you have, it’s only going to cause problems for you.

Honesty is an admirable trait anyway, and employers will appreciate candidates who tell the truth just as much as those who have lots of experience.

 

CV length

Potential employers are often very busy and don’t have time to read through long, detailed resumes. Typically, a CV should be no longer than 2 A4 pages. If you have a lot of experience to fit on, try to condense it so that only the most relevant information for that specific job is included. You can always expand on your experience in the interview.

 

With these tips, you can hopefully craft a fantastic CV that will help you land your dream job in no time.

 

 

Article Written By:
Alan Hickley

Be Successful in Your Job Search – Tips for Success

Are you struggling to be successful in your job search – need tips for success?

Knowing how to be successful in your job search is a skill in itself, and one which most people overlook and underprepare for. This is an investment of your time; however finding that dream role will be worth it.

Although time consuming, the job search process begins with inward self-reflection.

  • Do you know your values, interests, skills and goals?
  • Do you know what you want from a job, from an employer or what you can offer?

Self-assessment provides invaluable information to enable career decisions; where you can identify the match between your acknowledged values & skills to the requirements of career fields and suitable companies. This is so important to be successful in your job Search as it is the core reasoning that pulls you toward a specific role or company.

Have a read of this article to Be Successful in Your Job Search: How to Reach your Career Goals 

To be successful in your job search, focus is also important. Focus is not just a mindset: it is an act of doing, an action that, when used properly, can propel your job search; making the process both more enjoyable and productive.

Focus your mind on the job search itself:
Be in the right mindset, have a ‘learners’ mindset, read everything, research networking opportunities in your chosen field, reach out to someone new on social media. Find out about potential job openings via multiple channels. BE POSITIVE.

Candidates are reacting quickly when they spot a good opportunity; but what does that mean for job seekers?

Do not wait to apply for a role. Keep your CV up to date and react immediately.  The best day to respond to a job listing is the day it appears.

Tip: We would recommend signing up to job alerts and check listings regularly, so that you know when new job postings appear.

Click here to subscribe to the Recruit Island weekly Job Alerts – let’s get you the perfect Job.

Of course, your dream job search will come down to more than clever submission times or days. Your CV will not get you the job, but make sure your CV piques the interest of the recruiter/employer in order to secure an interview.

It is also noteworthy to ensure your subject line is concise and to the point. Do not use subject lines such as “My CV” or “CV for Job”; ensure you communicate the entire message (Example: Jack, 5+ years’ experience, .Net Developer for Job code 123456 – CV Attached).

A brief and concise cover letter that spells out clearly how your qualifications match the job requirements is also beneficial. Connect the dots for the recruiter, highlighting why you’re the perfect candidate for their job.

In order to put your best foot forward and be successful in your job search, we have put together the most common CV challenges and advise on how to fix them.

  • CV is too long: including too much information is just as bad as not including enough information. Describing what you did in various roles can eat up a lot of space, so keep it short by using bullet points. A job from 10 years ago doesn’t need in-depth detail, leaving you more space to explain your most recent work.
  • Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors: don’t shoot yourself in the foot before the interview process even begins. To be successful in your job Search, spell check can pick up some mistakes but not everything – Ask a friend to check your spelling and grammar & check it yourself carefully before you send it.
  • Gaps in your CV: Leaving unexplained gaps in your CV without explanation may arouse suspicion with a recruiter. Whether you’ve taken time out to travel or to care for a loved one; include this and put a positive spin on it. These activities can include core skills such as organisation, planning and communication.
  • Lack of work experience: Recent graduate? Career change? No industry knowledge? These can all be reason for a lack of direct experience; however you need to portray your transferable skills from other areas of your experience and highlight them. If you enrol on a course or do some voluntary work in your new field, make it prominent on your CV as this will show your commitment to the role.

Tips for Graduates: The Transition from Student to Career 

  • Not showing your worth: You can use generic clichés in your CV such as “business growth” or “Relationship building”; however, without highlighting the results in previous roles, you are missing out on a significant opportunity to sell yourself and show how valuable you are to an organisation. Use Results Based or Quantitative Examples.
  • A ‘one size fits all’ CV: if you are sending out generic CV’s for all roles, you are significantly reducing your chances of being called to interview. As you are writing or editing your CV, have the job description to hand. Without researching the needs of your target employers, you will be basing the content on what you think should be on your CV. Structure your existing CV around the specific job description; highlighting required skills of the new role.
  • All your jobs have been very similar? If all your jobs included similar duties and responsibilities, it is not essential to include every single one on your CV. A brief summary of your career history will suffice with a more detailed section outlining the core (and relevant) skills and experience you’ve gained.

Job searching is hard work and there are times where you will feel discouraged. Be assertive and proactive. If you are finding it difficult and need some help, we would be delighted to help you.

At Recruit Island, we provide a range of temporary and permanent staff solutions from short term assignments to long term contractors in Ireland. We have roles in Healthcare, Homecare, Nursing, Clerical, Construction & Engineering, Warehousing / Supply Chain Management, Training, Education Support & Occupational Health. We are also broadening our reach offering roles in Admin & Finance, Banking & Dental Health.

Using our strong relationships with large multinationals and businesses across Ireland, we can help you find your dream job and answer all your questions along the way.

Contact Us Today!

Article Written By:
Donna Farrell