Recruitment is always at it's busiest this time of year. New year aspirations teamed with post holiday reflection sees many people update their CV and begin the job hunt. Having said that, along with a buoyant candidate market comes an inundation of applications for recruiters. So, how do you stand out from the crowd of online applicants when recruiters and HR teams are looking at hundreds of applicant on a daily basis?
February-March is such a busy time in recruitment. People are back from holidays, kids are back at school and public holidays are over until Easter; meaning it’s time to put your head down or look for something new and challenging.
With numerous jobs going up on our website, SEEK and Linked In, we’re inundated with responses and let’s just say there are a number of sighs being heard around the office. So, whether you are looking for your first role or polishing off your CV after a number of years; here are some tips on how to make a great first impression and stand out from the crowd.
Follow the Format
In life, we often want to be original. However, when it comes to your CV there is a reason why you want to be part of crowd. Have a look at a good format to follow here
When you’re looking at hundreds of applicants a day, your brain gets used to reading/ scanning a certain way. If you decide to do something too different with your CV, it can be read in the wrong incorrectly or the formatting can be lost making it look unprofessional and plain confusing.
ie: If you decide to list your job history using a columned format and
we have been reading from left to right, you run the risk of having us
read your job history in the wrong order. This can make your CV look
incorrect or plain unprofessional.
CV 101’s include
- Use your first page to sell yourself – you have 6 seconds
- Personal details should include a professional email address
- Education – keep this relevant to the position you are applying for
- Transferable Skill set
- Current position
- Use bullet points where ever possible.
- 2-3 pages maximum
- For each role (no longer than 10 years)
- A beginning and end date
- Job Title
- Key responsibilities
- Key Achievements
- Include an active link to your Linked In profile
- Do not include references
One Size does not fit all
It’s important to remember that your CV is not set in stone. Most applicants will change their cover letter to ensure it is relevant to the position, however people seem to forget that they should update their CV too. Of course, we don’t expect a new CV for each position but we do want to see relevant skills, experience and proof that you aren’t all talk. Give specific examples of your skills.
Scan over your CV with each job application and make sure some of the buzz words/ phrases from the role or job description are included within your CV. You should also make sure that these skills have some validation, adding a ‘key achievement’ will help get your point across.
Introduction Emails and Cover Letters
The nice to e-meet you has been floating around for a while and unfortunately it is a real pet hate of ours at Virtue!
Keep your introduction email personalised yet professional; and most importantly relevant to the job at hand. Your cover letter is a way of introducing yourself, your relevant/transferable experience and enticing the reader to open your CV.
If you have the details of whom you are addressing, use their first name in email correspondence. If you have there full name, contact them via Linked In too. This will help you stand out from a sea of inbox CV’s, as well as showcase some technical ability.
To Sum it up In Brief
- CV’s & Cover Letters should be updated with each job application. Use words/phrases from the job advert to showcase your transferable skills and relevant experience.
- Keep emails personalised, professional and to the point
- Follow a CV format
- Bullet everything
- Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date
- Contact people via Linked In & follow the company page
- Answer questions when asked on Seek etc
Feeling ready? Put your new CV skills it to the test by applying for one of our exciting roles here