5 key things that employers look for in your CV
When it comes to your CV it can be difficult standing out from the crowd and even more difficult to know what employers are looking for. To ensure your CV gets looked at, there are certain things you can do to be memorable and employable. Here are our top 5 things to include on your CV to ensure it gets you noticed.
1. Work experience
Your work experience is one of the main sections of your CV, so it’s important to ensure it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. This will vary by industry, however don’t include a part time job you had as a teenager if you have more recent and relevant experience. It’s best to include roughly 5 different job titles in this section as you don’t want your CV to go over two pages of A4 in total. If in doubt, look at the specific listing, if the job ad asks for 5 years of experience, ensure you cover the last 5 years.
Don’t be afraid to add specific achievements into each job description, such as products launched, sales increase, awards won. Rather than just stating what your duties were in a previous role, describe what the positive outcome was that you bought to this role e.g. ‘I was responsible for Social Media execution and increased Facebook followers from 12,500 to 18,000’. Figures are always great.
If you don’t have a huge work history, you can still obtain some work experience to boast about. Contact relevant companies and ask to shadow them for a couple of weeks. Alternatively, an apprenticeship can give you on the job training while you still make money.
2. Professional Qualifications
Any qualifications you have are essential to mention on your CV, however that doesn’t have to exclusively be a degree, A Levels or GCSEs. Professional qualifications could include seminars attended or online courses you’ve passed. While academic qualifications are great, it’s also beneficial to show your learning and growth within the industry, regardless of your age or experience.
List your full qualifications with dates and the course provider. Again, if you don’t have a lot to shout about, there are always online courses you can take to further your career. For example, at Avado we offer distance learning courses in Accounting, Bookkeeping, Learning & Development, Human Resources and Marketing.
3. Your goals
When writing a CV, add a summary at the top which includes your experience, education and most importantly what you’re looking for. This CV personal statement is one of the most important elements, as it’s the first thing your prospective employer will read. Also, keep it brief. According to the Telegraph, employers spend an average of 8.8 seconds skimming through a CV.
Again, try to make this summary as relevant as possible to the job you’re applying for. If there are certain keywords you can take from the listing and include here, do so. Stick to 3-5 lines maximum and try to avoid using 1st or 3rd person. For example, “Marketing expert with 5 years’ experience at award-winning agencies. Specialising in SEO and PPC. London based, seeking a managerial role.”
4. Good grammar
CVs are definitely not the place to make spelling and grammar errors. This is your first impression your employer gets of you and if your CV is riddled with mistakes it looks as though you haven’t put the effort in. Get a friend who is top-notch at English to check it over if in doubt.
It is also crucial that your CV is clearly presented, well laid-out and cleverly structured. Try to avoid dense areas of text, as hiring managers are more likely to read through CV’s when they can scan quickly for key points.
A final that employers look for in your CV is originality. Try and make your CV as unique as possible so it stands out from the hundreds of other job applicants. This means you should think about your strengths and how they make you different. If you have any interesting hobbies that may be relevant to the role, include them! Most importantly, avoid any clichés, especially on your CV skills section. Sentences like “I’m a team player” or “I have excellent communication skills” have been said time and time again and won’t get you noticed.