You've identified your dream job, found a vacancy, and are about to submit an application. So how do you go about putting together a CV which is will guarantee you an interview?
Most advertised employment positions are oversubscribed, and some are very oversubscribed, so never expect a recruiter to do your work for you. Your priority is to put together a document which rapidly communicates your suitability for a role. Do this well, and an employer will be only to happy to file you in the interview pile.
As recruitment expert John Lees puts it, the perfect CV is the one that gets you the job, but there are still some key elements which make a good CV great.
Proof read, double-check, and triple-check for errors. Before you dismiss this as an obvious point you would be amazed how many CVs employers receive with typos and spelling mistakes. According to a nationwide survey of recruitment professionals carried out by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, 47% said that out of all the CVs they received, over half (50%) contained grammatical errors, with the worst offenders in the 21-25 year old age group. For a recruiter with a mountain of Cvs to work through, even one little error is a welcome reason to file an application in the pile marked 'dustbin'.
Don't forget a covering letter. Suzanne Cameron, Senior Commercial Consultant of Carlton Resource Solutions points out, one of the most crucial parts of the application the covering letter is increasingly overlooked.
'The way we do things online often becomes the way we do things offline,' notes Suzanne, 'and because many online application systems don't require a covering letter, there is a growing tendency among applicants not to send a covering letter with hard copy submissions. As a result however, these candidates are damaging their chances of securing the positions that they really want. A covering letter is the first chance you have to impress make sure that you take it.'
Stand-out from the crowd. With three hundred black and white two-page CVs to get through a cleverly creative approach can brighten an employer's day. Examples which have made it through the door include a CV which was a box-doll of the potential employee marketed as a super-hero with their employable qualities written on the box. Whilst one creative applicant seeking work with an events company put together an "invitation" to employ her, complete with party poppers and streamers.
But don't get too creative. If you decide to opt for a more traditional approach, however, make sure you adhere strictly to expected forms. Broadly speaking, this means two to three pages in length with your most recent employment first. This format will make it easy for an employer to quickly understand your background. Also, almost every recruiter we spoke to begged candidates to keep their CV's short and to the point. When you have two hundred to get through, less is more.
Tailor to fit. Recruiters often imagine themselves objective, but the reality is they can be incredibly subjective with their preferences. Noel Marshall of recruitment agency Finance Professionals, for example stated categorically that a personal summary including hobbies and interests gives recruiters a flavour of your personality. Whilst headhunter Andrew Baber of Planning for People believes unequivocally that personal summaries are 'white noise' which no-one ever reads. You can't be expected to know the unique preferences of an employer in advance, but as much research as possible should help you gain an idea of company outlook. A CV should be re/written to suit every position you apply for. And never send an identikit version to multiple employers by email. Recruiters really object to being spammed by the cut and paste CVs.
Much of the advice on our website has been kindly provided by local companies and organisations for which we are very grateful - could you offer some advice to our visitors in return for some free coverage on our website? If so please get in touch here as we'd love to hear from you.
We work with experts in and around our local area to provide useful information relating to careers advice - we hope you will find these articles to be helpful. You can view our news news archive here
Once your redundancy is dealt with and any retraining has been undertaken you will probably need to find a new job. This can seem daunting, particularly if you have not had to look for a newread more
When we hear the word 'redundancy' it is natural to think of the impact that it will have on the person being made redundant with out regard for the difficulties inflicted upon the employerread more
Do you know the tax implications of receiving a redundancy package and how to avoid paying unnecessary tax? If you are going to find yourself struggling financially do you know how to lessenread more
Do you know what redundancy package you are likely to receive? Do you know what the government stipulated minimum package is? As well as detailing the legal and financial aspects we willread more
Do you feel like you’ve lost your identity and can’t stop feeling negative? It is not only the practicalities of redundancy that need to be addressed. Redundancy can also have a massiveread more
We've been asking local employers for tips on what to do in an interview – and, of course, what not to do! Here are our top 10 not to do in that all-important job interview.read more
Have you thought about a new career or improving upon the skills you currently have? In this article we will offers tips and advice on increasing your 'employability' through courses andread more
It's too easy to start looking in the job section of the paper and applying for everything that has an attractive salary, car or any other perks, before falling into this trap, be reallyread more
Remain Positive in Your Job Search
Career advice for Senior Applicants
Keeping things in perspective when things go wrong
Making sure your CV stands out from the crowd
When attending interviews it's always good to be up to date with what's happening in the local business and employment sector - we hope you'll find these selected news articles interesting
Most Brightonians will be aware of the recent petition around proposals for the closure of local popular music venue The Blind Tiger. Based on Grand Parade in Brighton, the club has been having trouble for the past year or so, since a new neighbour moved in to the flat above and began to make noise complaints. The club was served a notice for noise nuisance from Brighton council; if the neighbour complains again of the noise after 19th May 2014, then the venue will be fined big sums of money. ..read more
It can seem hard to find a job that fits around your life commitments. We are aware that 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday does not be suitable everyone. In fact, statistics demonstrate that the number of people working more than 45 ..read more
Nursing and care is one of the largest industries in Brighton with several hospitals and many care homes and care facilities in this area. All of these establishments need staffing but how can you set about searching for the ..read more
As well as preparing for what you should do when attending a job interview, whether it's a part time job in Brighton or that perfect next step on the career ladder, it is just as ..read more
1. Describe your strengths It is pretty much a sure fire thing that on most Brighton job interviews you will be asked what you think your areas of strength are (and sometimes what you think your ..read more
Interview Tips to help you get that perfect job in Brighton
The Recruitment Process to Fill your Brighton Job
How can you find the right Brighton job for you?
What is different about looking for jobs today in Brighton compared to 10 years ago
Covering Letter hints and tips for when applying for jobs in Brighton
Looking for a second job in Brighton?
University of Brighton / Sussex University
Public Sector jobs in Brighton
Information on local newspapers covering Brighton
Example CV for people applying for jobs in Brighton
CV Tips for landing that perfect job in Brighton
Erica Sosna of The Life Project, Brighton, gives her thoughts on how best to prepare for an interview.read more
When you face the daunting task of searching for a new job, how do you remain calm and motivated when slogging through application after application? Katalin Swann offers some helpful hintsread more