Recruitment | Executive Search

5 CV tips from one of the leading recruitment agencies in South Africa

A well written, winning CV is a personal marketing tool, and its purpose is to get you an interview.

Your CV is the first impression a potential employer will have of you. A winning CV should show your achievements and value to the company in a short, sharp and proactive way. Huge numbers of resumes are often received, so managers usually only have a couple of minutes to scan each one. Make sure that the key information isn’t buried, or that your CV is hard to read.

Your profile is an ad for the rest of the CV. What you write must make the hiring manager want to read more. Your profile must quickly show who you are and what you can do for the company.

Employers are interested in what you achieved in your previous roles and your true responsibilities rather than just your job title. If your job title is weak, or inaccurate when compared with the duties you were responsible for, put a more accurate or descriptive title in brackets e.g. Head Waitress (Night Shift Manager)

In the employment market, education is always an advantage. However, if your education is incomplete or non standard, you will find many tips online to help you make your education work for you. Education includes continuing education; onsite training at your previous job and training seminars that you have attended just to list a few.

1. Make sure your skills show out on your CV

Every job you apply for you are likely to be pitched against hundreds of other job seekers, which means you have to stand out in a crowd. The way to do that is make sure all your skills are on display and your unique abilities in the application of those skills.

2. Two to three simple pages

It is said that employers spend as little as 20 seconds scanning your CV so it needs to get to the point, present your skills and abilities and be easy to read. If in doubt try the 20-second test with a few strangers.

3. Individualize your CV to suit your audience

Recruiters may need to know different, wider and/or new information an employer may not. The longer your career the wider the range of skills you may have, presenting those that match the job you’re applying for is a great way to go.

4. Keep it error free

Typos are a no-no pure and simple. Get your CV proof read.

5. Keep your CV up-to-date

You may have sent your CV out a few times over the years, having an up to date version is key. Each quarter you work take 5 mins to review your success on your master CV file. It will help no end to jog your memory later on when looking to build up your skills & contribution profiles to your present/past employers.