Assume that the person reading your CV knows nothing about you
I search and read hundreds of CVs every week and the advice I give to anybody when they ask me what they should send to me in their CV when they are searching for a job is that they should assume that I know nothing about them or the job that they want to do.
Obviously there may be some truth in this statement but the point I am trying to make is that I, like most employers, don’t really know anything about that person until they send me an email or give me a piece of paper with details of their background on it. Even then, if I am reading 100 CVs for one vacancy the amount of time I can spend reading a single CV is very limited, so if it isn’t obvious what that person has done it can be easy to miss an essential detail about the applicant if they don’t make the important information clear and easy to see. Even though my background is in the recruitment for pharmaceutical jobs, its important to me that applicants make it very clear what they have done and what they are capable of.
Some may argue that it is my job to try to find that information out, but my answer to that would be that as an applicant if you want the job then you need to sell your background to me by making it easy for me to see that you are the right person for the job.With this in mind as a job seeker looking for work you may find these simple rules helpful:
- Read the advert or Job spec closely and tailor your CV to the vacancy. Make sure that the key words and experience that the employer is looking for feature on your CV (ONLY if you have the experience).
- Do not assume that the person you are sending your CV to has any idea about your area of expertise. If Human Resources or a Recruiter is reviewing your CV first they may not understand your specific skill set if it is very niche. This is why it is important that your CV is tailored to the job spec and advert. Make it very obvious to the reader what you have done, when you did it and where. Remember too that they may not have as strong a medical knowledge as you or therapy area expertise so be sure to mention your expertise.
- Make your contact details obvious and easy to see. What is the point in being clearly the best candidate for a job if the people trying to ask you to come in for an interview cannot find your contact details? This should be on the first page of your CV at the top, not hiding in a footer at the bottom of the last page.
- Try to make sure that your current role or details of what you are doing now are on the first page. Put your other experience on your CV in reverse chronological order. If the employer can see what you are doing right now, it makes it easier for them to see if you are likely to be available and if you have the right experience and gained it recently.
- Keep irrelevant information to a minimum – If you are going for a senior management position make sure that you are drawing attention to your relevant skills and experience. What you did when you were first starting out in your career may no longer be relevant.
- Make sure that there is plenty of open space in your CV – A CV that is very wordy can seem overwhelming to the reader so make sure that you do not send them dizzy with a mass of words. It may sound strange but a CV that is easy on the eye is more appealing to the reader. It also makes it easier to pick out the relevant information. The use of bullet points and bolding relevant titles and information can keep wordy CVs at bay.
- Do not repeat yourself – Telling the reader about the same job in different sections of your CV three times make it look like you are padding and that you do not have much to say.
- Remember that your CV is the first thing an employer will see of you so if it’s full of spelling errors and mistakes then you are likely to be passed over. Get that friend that can always spots mistakes to read your CV before you send it anywhere. Alternatively ask your CK Medics consultant to read it over for you. You will be pleased to have them when they spot that you have nearly told a potential employer that you have “God attention to detail”. Not even your spell checker will have picked that one up.
When you send your CV in application, you need to be proud of it. It’s the ambassador that is going to open doors for you.