I work in recruitment and on an average day I review anywhere between 40-70 CV’s. Each corporate job opening will receive on average of 200-250 applications. To progress your application and to receive the invite to interview you need to stand out.
Unfortunately, I have not (yet) discovered a ‘one size fits all’ solution that will land you an interview with every job application you make but I am aware of what should be included on your CV to catch my attention and hopefully, other hiring managers too. 24% of hiring managers spend less than 30 seconds looking at CV’s, so you need to make every second count.
Start with your contact details: at least one telephone number & email address. Home Address is also helpful, especially if you are applying for positions locally as clients recognise that you will be able to get to work with little or no problems – a big positive! Any job-seeker considering relocation, please include this information on your CV so that you are not disregarded.
The opening statement
Proceed with an opening paragraph/objective/personal summary. This needs to be personal and it needs to be accurate. Some of the most common words included in a CV are ‘motivated’, ‘driven’, ‘responsible’ etc. therefore try to think outside of the box and limit any use of these! The statement itself need be no longer than two or three sentences and should make an impact. It should also be tailored to every job application you make. I cannot begin to explain the despair I feel when reviewing a CV in application for a Property Management position and in the very first paragraph I discover they want to become a teacher.
Education / Qualifications
Dependent on the level of position you are applying to, decipher how relevant your education/qualifications are. If you are a graduate with very little or no work experience, this part of the CV should follow the opening statement – particularly if you studied the same area of interest to the role you are applying to.
If, however, you have some experience under your belt in line with the role you are applying to, there is no need for this information to be included so early in the CV. Your studies (GCSE’s/A ‘Levels/Degree) may not be relevant to the role you are applying to and can be included at the bottom of your CV. 72% of employees explained that having a specific skill set was more valued by the employer, than their education.
Start with the most recent experience at the top. Who wants to scroll endlessly through pages and pages of work history to find out what you are doing now! Tailor your experience to demonstrate relevance of responsibilities and utilise bullet points to concisely deliver your message.
If you are seeking your first role, think about your ‘secret skills’ that you may have acquired doing voluntary work experience or as your hobby. Did you lead on a project whilst at school? Did you accomplish your DofE? Demonstrate your soft skills with these types of examples. It truly does speak volumes of your character but do not misconstrue the information!
If you are looking to enter a new industry, include your transferable skillset. These include interpersonal, communication, organisational and leadership skills. 61% of employers believe that soft skills are just as important as hard skills.
If you are an experienced professional looking for a similar position, your job title is not the be all and end all of what you do. Company X will do things very differently to company Z so be sure to follow each position with a list of responsibilities. Summarise your achievements at the end of each job role and use industry jargon that your employers will understand, so long as it adds value to your CV.
If they are not interesting don't include them! Remember you are applying to a job role and every bit of information on your CV will be considered in line with your application.
- Proof-read before applying! Spelling and grammatical errors are one of the biggest factors for CV’s being disregarded, even if you are ‘qualified’. ‘Attention to detail’ is also one of the most sought after soft skill so don’t set yourself up for a fall!
- There is no point having good content if it isn’t visually appealing. You don’t need fancy colours or graphs (unless you are some sort of designer/presenter etc.) but you do need to ensure each section is clearly distinguishable. CV’s are generally scanned for information hence the 30 second window.
- If it’s relevant, it shouldn’t be any longer than one-two pages long. There are exceptions of course, particularly if you have over 20 years’ experience. However, in most cases, length is a result of repetition of responsibilities and irrelevant industry experience so take these off!
GKR London Property Recruitment are advertising for a wide variety of positions across London, Greater London & Home Counties. If you are seeking a fresh challenge in property and need some advice to help you create the perfect CV, get in touch with us today!