From Taking Management Courses to Volunteering: Ways to Enhance Your CV
Finding a new and exciting job can be difficult at the best of times. As job seekers, we spend countless hours scrolling through jobs boards online, attending meetings with recruiters, spending time at interviews and researching various markets to discover precisely what kind of job we would like to go for.
Although we spend so much time doing this, it can still be notoriously tough to find the right job. But why? At the moment, the job market is a very competitive place to be and employers are often being far more selective about they employ to the roles they have available. With competition so tough, employers are simply less likely to hire someone who doesn’t fit the bill for a role exactly, when in the past they may have spent more time investing in an employee to get them to the level they need to be.
Companies seem to be slightly less willing to invest in employees from the ground up and seek to hire people who have a certain level of skill already. This is understandable when considering how many job seekers apply for the same job, but it means that you have a much harder task to make yourself stand out from the crowd. With this additional competition, the first impression counts and the best and only way to make yourself stand out immediately is via your CV. Here are some great ideas on how to enhance the effectiveness of your CV.
Trim and Tidy
First of all, take note of the CV you currently have written up and consider areas of the copy where you could ‘cut the fat’. Although it’s always tempting to include anything and everything you’ve ever done in your career or your life, this can sometimes have the opposite impact on an employer. A CV which is too busy and lengthy simply will not be read, so it’s always worth opting for quality rather than quantity.
Employers want to see the relevant information which will indicate that you may be a suitable candidate for the job on offer and for the culture of the company. The content should be written clearly, concisely, in plain English and devoid of too much waffle. You won’t catch anyone’s attention with reams of irrelevant content, but you will with forensic facts and figures which illustrate why you should be hired in no uncertain terms. Your CV should never be longer than two pages; if it is, you need to cut it down. You can add splashes of personality in your cover letter and at the interview, but the CV must be attention-grabbing, concise and effective.
Include a Short Personal Statement
Your personal statement is one of the most vital parts of your entire CV. It will be the very first thing that a potential employer reads and will inform their decision to read on or not. Your personal statement – or personal profile – is also one of the most difficult parts of your CV to nail. The trick is to distil your most important parts of your CV into around five lines which is compelling, readable, concise and convincing.
This statement should sit directly underneath your name and contact information at the very top of the page and should answer these three basic questions:
- Who you are
- How you can add value to their company
- Your career goals and aims
It may sound relatively simple, but it’s much harder than it first seems. Squeezing all of this information into a handful of sentences and still being compelling will take time to get right. It’s best to read some examples of successful personal statements to gather some inspiration. Stay away from too many buzzwords, waffle or being too generic. Utilise any unique experience you have here to make an instant impression.
Concentrate on Design and Layout
As well as being clear and concise with your content, you’ll also want to ensure that the design and layout is clear. Stay well away from anything too whacky – unless you’re applying to a particularly creative role in which this would benefit – and concentrate on neatness. It’s a good idea to space items from each other evenly and draw the reader’s eye to areas you want them to focus on.
You can achieve this by using bullet points for your key skills rather than embedding them in the body of the text, having clearly defined sub-headers for each section of your CV and steering clear fancy fonts. Sticking to simplicity is always your best bet. If you are going for a graphic design or art role, it may be an idea to create a website CV to exhibit your ability that way.
Expand Your Skillset and Include It on Your CV
Particularly if you’re trying to break into a new industry, you may need to expand and improve on your current set of skills. By adding more key skills into your arsenal, you may just give yourself a leg up on the competition. Of course, improving your skills will take time and effort and you may have to perform some additional activities to achieve the goals you set yourself.
Get Involved With Voluntary Work or Fundraising
One crucial way of improving your skills and experience is to begin volunteering, fundraising or enrolling on work experience projects. If you’d like to begin working in an industry which you have little experience in, it’s certainly worth looking for businesses you can volunteer for on the weekends or in the evenings.
For example, if you want to start working in the healthcare sector, it may be an idea to volunteer at a charity which works in the area you wish to break in to. Spend some time finding organisations which may be taking on volunteers and ask if you can help. This extra work will be valuable for your CV and will exhibit a willingness to go above and beyond to achieve your goals as well as allow you to add more skills to the skill section of your CV.
Enrol on a Management Training or Management Workshop
If the area you want to work in requires certain extra qualifications, or you’re looking to take the next step in your current industry, it’s worth considering training workshops. By enrolling on a management training workshop, you can learn valuable management skills and begin applying for roles higher up in the career ladder. This additional training may be the difference between you and a colleague getting the management promotion you’re both looking for. Taking control of your career by improving the skills you need is another way to show determination, proactivity and enthusiasm. It also shows that you’re willing to invest in your own development.
Tailor Your CV To The Job You’re Applying For
Finally, it’s vital that you tailor your CV to the job that you’re applying for. Instead of sending out the same generic CV to every employer, make small tweaks to the wording and skill section of your CV to reflect the job you’re going for. These small changes will make you more relevant for the role and will give you a better chance of getting an interview when opposed to someone who has simply sent the same CV to every employer they are targetting.
Discover Your Next Corporate Development Opportunity With London Corporate Training
Here at London Corporate Training (LTC), we understand how important it is for both employees and employers to continue their professional development and improve their knowledge and skill-set. That’s why we offer a wide range of management short courses – including an HR management course, banking and finance course, law courses and operations management courses – for our clients.
We always endeavour to provide the very best corporate education to the people who enrol on our courses and continually customise our service to offer the most successful courses possible. The courses we run are delivered by experts in their field, who provide the very best opportunities for professional development and learning.