Written by: Steven Petter
Applying for that dream job is all about selling yourself to your potential employer, and no matter how impressive your qualifications are, you will never get a chance if your CV doesn’t show at a glance exactly what that employer is looking for. Taking the time to look over your CV before you send it out and make changes that positively reflect your compatibility with that role will save you the disappointment of rejection.
It’s important you look over all your past jobs and highlight any skills you needed for those roles and what you did well that reflect your suitability for the job you are applying for. If you’re applying to work in an office then being able to work the fryer at McDonaldâ€™s probably won’t win you any brownie points but being able to work to tight deadlines as part of a team and learn new skills quickly might be worth putting down.
Remember they are looking for, not only the best qualified person, but also the person who will most easily integrate into the team they already have with the least disruption so take time to research the company and the type of work environment. Also find out exactly what you will be doing so you can highlight your specific skills for that role. Most job vacancies have set requirements so make sure your CV reflects these basics but whatever you do don’t lie! If you lie then they will realise it when you start and you will look like a fool.
Extra qualifications you have gained
Make sure you put down any qualifications you have gained, usually in order of difficulty, and make sure you include anything you have done in work already, such as First Aid at Work or Payroll, because you may be required to do something like that again and at the very least it will show you are willing to take the time to learn new skills at work.
If you find your CV is lacking some qualifications or experience then consider asking someone in a similar job of you can shadow them for time for free in return for a reference or maybe even doing a little volunteer work with an organisation similar to the field you are looking to move to. Volunteering always looks good on a CV, so look into working with children, the ACF are always looking for adult volunteers or maybe St. Johns Ambulance. Organisations like this will normally offer fantastic courses in return for your time and they will bolster you CV.
Contacts and references
Lastly, make sure you have contact details for references on your CV and make sure the people you have put on there know you have put them down. One should be your current employer and maybe one of your previous employers then a couple of decent character references, from professional people who are respected in their field of work if you can, try to avoid just putting your mate Dave down who you know from the local pub. It should be someone who is used to writing references and genuinely knows what your strengths and weaknesses are because they will need to help you sell yourself to the employer and when reading references, it’s always obvious if the people really know the applicant.