The working year is coming to a close and it’s during the Christmas break that people have the time to review where they are in their career. While the recruitment market is generally quieter leading up to Christmas, the number of job applications received by recruiters in the New Year rises dramatically. Come January, the market is buoyant with candidates looking for new opportunities and companies putting together recruitment drives to meet their hiring needs for the coming year. If you’re one of the candidates seeking new opportunities, then it’s time to brush up on your CV writing skills to maximise your chances of landing a new job.
What’s new for your resume
If it’s been a while since you made a job application, you may have some work to do to take account of any new skills or experiences you’ve gained ever since. Even if you’re not actively seeking a new job, it may be simply a good time to update your CV due to a promotion during the last year.
Another thing to take into account if you are job hunting is any new recruitment trends that may influence how you carry out your job search. For instance, more and more organisations are opting for video interviews – especially in the early stages of the recruitment process. Likewise, social media has become one of the most common ways to find out which companies are hiring. In fact, social media is a key tool when job hunting, for both recruiters and candidates.
Applicant tracking systems are now commonplace. Many of these look for keywords when identifying the most suitable candidates, so it can pay to incorporate relevant phrases and buzzwords into your CV to optimise your chances of getting picked up by screening systems.
CV tips for job search success
Despite the latest recruitment technologies, your resume is still the best tool for introducing yourself to potential employers when making a job application, so it’s important to get it right.
Of course, some tried and tested CV tips remain as true today as they ever did. Keep it short and sweet – no more than two pages in length. Employers are more interested in your most recent experience and achievements so focus on these, adding short notes for earlier, more junior, or less relevant roles.
Make your CV look the part with a professional font such as Arial, Calibre or Times New Roman. Use A4 paper with one inch of margin, and always use a spellchecker. Get a friend to look it over for any grammatical errors. There is nothing that will get you consigned to the reject pile faster than misspelling and bad grammar.
When it comes to design, keep it clean and simple. There are many templates available with a quick Google search. For layout, start with your contact details followed by a brief career summary, giving hirers all they need to know in a single paragraph before listing work experience in reverse chronological order.
Recruiters know when someone has used an old CV or put little effort into tailoring it for a position, so make sure you customise each for the job and the company. The more effort you put into your CV, the more success you’ll have when it comes to invites to interview.
For more CV and job search advice, see the CV tips section on Zoek.
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