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How To Build The Perfect CV

5 Tips to Create a CV

Before you get to dazzle recruiters and potential employers at an interview, the first step is to ‘wow’ them with your CV.

The idea is to build a resumé that stands out from the rest and catches the eye within minutes. Highlighting all your career goals within a quick scan is not a hefty ask. With a few tricks, you can build the ideal CV that will invite you through the interview doors.

The ideal CV should run two to three pages. Remember, recruiters have received hundreds of applications and really don’t have the time to read five pages. Most will scan the first page, so the idea is to get all the important information – that is also relevant to the job – on the very first page. The rule of thumb is to include your latest position right on top, which means your first job would be on the last job.

Keep the following in mind when compiling your CV:

1. Be clear and concise

As mentioned before, recruiters don’t have time to read an entire essay. Present your information in a clear and readable layout. Bullet points with one sentence are scannable and is a dream when reading. Titles should also be very clear, so bold type font works well. Avoid bright colours and unusual colours. When in doubt, an Arial font in black should suffice.

2. Contact details should be visible

While this is an obvious step, most candidates use the footer of the page to present their contact details. Your cell phone number should be visible. Include it in a text box or below your name. Again, bold type if possible and in a clear font.

3. Remove unnecessary information

While being the lead in the school play is a great achievement, it’s not going to be much help when applying for a job in the financial department. This could be a good anecdote during the interview (if such a question arrives) but because we’re tight on space, it may be better to remove it to make way for your other achievements. Being a prefect could convey that you’re good in a leadership position or the fact that you are the treasury for the community carnival could highlight your ability to be financially responsible.  

4. Experience is best

Your CV should highlight why you’re the best candidate for the job and your experience is key. Showcase the experience that is relevant to the job. A trick? Use the job description to help you out. Match what they need to what you have done in the past to grasp the attention of the recruiter. Also, be sure to highlight any relevant training and short course completions that may help boost your knowledge of the position.

5. Personalise

Adapt the document according to the job you’re applying for. If it’s a marketing position, you can be a little creative. A standard word document doesn’t work anymore but the good news is that the Word templates include CV samples, which can be helpful.

In closing

Once you’ve created your CV, always review everything before sending it off into the world. Make sure the grammar is correct, references are contactable, and the format is legible. Also, always be honest on your CV. If it’s too embellished, the word may spread around. Remember that a well-written letter of motivation that highlights your skills and strengths goes a long way.
If you’re looking to give your CV that extra boost, browse our short courses to help you gain practical information.

Interview Tips To Land Your Dream Job

How to get through your Interview

The interview process is exciting but quite daunting. It’s a scary prospect considering that this is your chance to impress the recruiter or potential employer. How do you overcome these nerves that plague you on the day? By preparing yourself.

Boost your confidence

Now that you’ve landed the interview, it’s time to start the prep. While confidence is key, there is a fine line between self-assurance and arrogance. We want to avoid the latter. You can stay positive before the interview by doing the following:

Positive affirmations

Verbally manifesting something over and over again will trick your brain into believing it and your self-assurance will improve. Start off by telling yourself “this job was made for me” or “I’m the right person for this job”. Repeating these phrases to yourself will inspire you and will motivate you. You’re speaking truths about how you see yourself and with that self-assurance, you’re bound to attract positivity.

Practice

Interview Tips To Land Your Dream Job

It’s a step most candidates don’t practice because they’re afraid they’ll look silly, but practicing in the mirror could provide you with information on your facial expressions, eye contact, and body language while you’re speaking.

Practice your answers

If you’ve been on many interviews, you’ll know that recruiters tend to ask similar questions like “tell us about yourself?” or “where do you see yourself in five years time?”. By going over these questions, you’ll be confident in your answers.

Research the company

Besides researching what they do, their locations, and how many employees there are in the office, the company research will also provide you with a ‘first-look’ at the company culture. The social profiles should give you an overview of what the day-to-day activities are like.

General vs Job specific questions

In most cases, candidates are likely to attend two rounds of interviews: general and job specific.

General Interview

During the general interview, you’ll be sitting with the recruiter or whoever handled the application process. This is where they’ll get to know you to determine if you’re a good fit for the company. Sometimes, these interviews will be behaviour-based.

Questions in this style are asked to determine your behaviour in certain scenarios. They’ll assess things like how you handle conflict in the workplace, managing your workload, and time-management.

The job description should give you a good idea about how to answer these types of questions. Normally, they’ll provide the skills needed to perform the job. This could include “being an effective communicator” or “works well under pressure”. Answer the questions honestly, and provide answers where possible to help elevate your experience.

Job Specific Interview

Job specific interviews would include the head of the department you’re applying for. This interview could be the second one after a successful first round or sometimes, or it could happen during the first interview – the recruiter would step out and hand over the reins to the head of the department.

Job specific interviews are designed to ensure that you meet the criteria needed to perform well in the position. While prepping, always look at the job description – study it if you need to. Review the list and match your skill set to what is required. During the interview, try and provide an example of how you used a skill to improve a task – be careful not to sound too boastful. The aim is to show the employers that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Mastering the interview process is all about how much you prepare. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be once you enter the room. Once you get the job, add further value to the employers by boosting your skill set.