Further to our earlier blog titled The Brilliant CV which outlined the basic requirements for a great CV, there are a couple of further useful observations which are worth sharing with all prospective candidates. Despite various arguments within the recruitment community that the CV is on the way out, it is still of utmost importance and although it can be embellished with great tools such as video and social networking, it remains the all-important Chapter 1 in any new job application.
Try for a moment if you will to understand how the recruiter handles your CV. The first thing to note is that the recruiter is processing several CV's at any one time, so anything that you can do to assist that process will sub-consciously be greatly appreciated and will do your chances of being shortlisted no harm at all.
So what tips did The Brilliant CV not cover ?
It's a given that you CV will be stored electronically, so save the document as "forename surname.doc" - you really wouldn't believe the amount of people who save their CV as "cv.doc", which can cause problems when you are trying to import the doc into a database. Lots of docs arrive in these days as docx or pdf, which not all recruiters can open. Obviously it's not a problem if you are using Google Docs, but the formats can get messed up - so follow the naming routine and consider submitting your CV in an easily editable universal medium such as Word 2003-2007 or equivalent. Make sure that the doc is not password protected.
If your CV is of interest to your recruitment agency, please remember it will have to be "topped & tailed" by the recruiter before being passed on to a third-party, namely the client. The contact details on your CV will be removed so that the client cannot contact you directly and attempt to deprive the recruitment agency of it's hard-earned fee.
Candidates mistakenly believe that putting fancy rulers and formats into their CV will draw more attention to the CV - it certainly will, but consider that it may draw the wrong kind of attention, because all those fancy formats will have to be removed before the CV can be digitally processed. Surprisingly very few people use colour text in their CV's - subtle use of colour always has the potential to cheer up the recruiters heavily administrative day. Use of small K photo images (not necessarily of yourself) also have the potential to enhance your CV and increase the excitement factor.
The final and most important point to remember is that your CV should be searchable. All CV databases contain search engines, so use the words in your CV by which you want to be found. Construct your sentences to include key words in exactly the same way as you search job boards using search key words. You would be surprised to know that a lot of recruiters use previous employer name as search criteria, so don't me shy about naming all of the companies that you have worked for.
So... to give yourself the very best opportunity of selection and delivery of The Perfect Interview, keep the CV simple, keep it brief, make it readily database-able, construct it for maximum impact and deliver it for optimum search-ability.