𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗥𝗬 𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗘𝗟 𝗖𝗔𝗧𝗖𝗛 𝟮𝟮 - how can I get experience when you won't give it to me?! 😫
I saw this tweet 5 years ago when I graduated and it really summed up how I was feeling. It seemed like every entry level job I found wanted infinite experience but no one would give me that chance to get my foot in the door.
Here are some top tips to help you get your CV in the best place possible so (even without the experience, olympic medals and superpowers) you can secure your shot in your first role! 🧡
The average recruiter spends 6 seconds reviewing a CV before deciding if someone is a good fit for the role.
✅ Here are some DOs and DON'Ts to make your 6 seconds count:
1️⃣ DON'T have too much text
Keeping your CV brief will make it easy for a recruiter to scan. Sometimes they'll want to jump around the page across different experience you've had - a huge block of text won't make it easy for them to do this.
2️⃣ DON'T repeat yourself
Make sure you check whether you've already covered something in another section. You don't need to make the same point twice.
3️⃣ DO use space and colour wisely
Think about how everything is laid out across the page and where you want someone's eye to be drawn to first. Perhaps colour coding each section could make it easier to digest? Maybe you could use colours from the brand you're applying to to show you've personalised it to them?
4️⃣ DON'T use black and white word docs
Always pdf your CV before you submit it - this way nothing can be changed and the formatting will remain the same whatever device the recipient is reading it on. Also black and white word docs could look like any file just get lost in someone's inbox - you want to be memorable!
I think this is the best CV advice ever - and a really good principle to keep you focused on providing evidence throughout your CV to keep it succinct.
❌ Listing skills without evidence is a big no-no. It's not enough to tell someone you're funny - SHOW them you're funny - make them laugh!
✅ Some people find it helpful to use the formula I achieved x by doing y.
🏆 As well as this general rule of thumb, having an Awards/Achievements section that is separate to the rest of your profile is another helpful way to highlight any stand out achievements you have.
How will your CV stand out amongst the competition?
Due to COVID the job market is saturated at the moment, so roles will be more competitive than usual. It’s important to make your profile pop 💥
Here are some questions to ask yourself about the content in your CV:
➡️ Does someone else do what you do?
➡️ What makes you unique?
➡️ What would you personally bring to the team?
Make sure you’re content is MAX. 1 A4 PAGE!! (Or equivalent) Your CV won’t need to be over 2 pages until you have 5-6 years experience.
For some inspiration to create an application that’s more than just a CV click here.
When you're listing skills - try to focus on hard skills rather than soft skills. 🗒️
For example, being proficient in a type of software that you know is used in the role you are applying for (like Adobe Suite or Mailchimp). 🖥️
Being 'enthusiastic', 'energetic' or 'passionate' are sort of expected...so if you want to emphasise that you're more passionate than the next person - you will need to give an example that explains why. 💡
Words like 'creative' and 'motivated' are used a lot across many CVs - the image above includes some POWER VERBS you can use to stand out from the crowd.
Don't forget that there's a human at the other end of your email reading your CV 👀
✅ Always tweak your CV based on where you're applying and the role you're applying to. What are they measuring you on? Try to reflect specific requirements in the job ad in your application.
✅ If you can, try to send your CV directly to an individual rather than an 'firstname.lastname@example.org'
✅ If you're using a template that you've found online - remember other's might be using the same template! Make some tweaks so that it's unique to you.
Last but not least (this is the hardest part) try your best not to take rejection personally. Your CV is all yours - some people will like it, some people won’t, and that’s ok. We've all been there, and when you're at the start of your career, rejection can be hard to take. But every 'no' I've ever received has led me to bigger and better things - so don't lose hope you'll get there 💜