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The Secrets to Writing a Great CV: the Dos and Dont’s of Exceptional CV Writing

Source | LinkedIn : By Zeta Yarwood – NLP Career Coach and Life Coach

The average recruiter spends between 5 and 7 seconds looking at a CV. Yes, you read that correctly. 5 to 7 seconds. If during that time they like what they see, they mightspend another 30 – 90 seconds reading it in more detail. What does this mean? It means you have literally only seconds to make a good first impression. Fail to do so and your CV is going straight onto the reject pile.

When thinking about how to write your CV, the key thing is to know your audience. Who are you sending your CV to? Recruitment agencies will generally put your CV in their own template before sending it to an employer. They will remove all boxes and borders, change all the text to black and use their own font. So spending hours creating a colourful CV with lots of borders and boxes is not only a waste of your time but theirs.

Most companies in industries such as financial services, consulting, manufacturing, oil and gas, logistics etc. prefer a standard, clean, easy-to-read CV.  Individuals in these industries will most likely want to know more about what you’ve done rather than how creative you are.

However, companies with a fun brand or in the media industry, will probably be more open to something a bit more creative. One gentleman landed an internship at GQ without even being asked for an interview by sending in this great out-of-the-box CV. If you’re going for a creative, marketing or branding role within any industry, you might have a bit more flexibility with design.

It’s simply about being aware of who you are sending it to. Do your research on the individual. How do they come across? Are they more about facts and figures or design and creativity?

My advice is generally this: if you have a good CV that matches the company and the job exactly – play it safe to begin with. If you’re still not getting any response – think outside of the box and maybe do something more creative. After all, if you’re not getting any response – what have you got to lose?

If you want to make a career change – you might need to be a bit more imaginative in your approach. For example, video CVs are great because they allow your personality to come through. Which, if you are changing careers, will probably be your most important asset.

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