Five simple tips for improving your CV

Five simple tips for improving your CV

Whether you're applying for a job in pharmacy, physiotherapy or any other field, it's an unchanging fact that a good CV can make the difference between the success and failure of an application - which is why it's vital to make any improvements you can.

After all, in a competitive field, you're going to be up against a wide field of equally determined candidates, all of whom will have worked just as hard on their applications as you have. Therefore, any effort you make to give yourself an edge over the rest of the pack could ultimately be what lands you the job.

With this in mind, it's important to take whatever steps you can to give your CV a final polish before submitting it. They may seem like simple changes, but by refining and perfecting in this way, you can produce a resume that will stand out above all the rest.

Include an introduction that gets to the point
Prospective employers don't often have a lot of time to spend scrutinising each CV during an initial round of applications, so there's no point in saving the best material until the end. Instead, make sure your CV includes an introduction that communicates the best qualities you have to offer right from the outset.

This can take the form of a profile or objectives section at the start of the document  to summarise your goals, skills, qualifications and experience in a way that can be easily grasped at a glance; needless to say, this section should be tailored the job that you are targeting, as a generic chunk of catch-all waffle can do more harm than good.

Tailor the information according to the application
Of course, the principle of tailoring a CV to a specific employer needs to go a lot deeper than just the introduction. While your qualifications and experience will remain the same from application to application, you should be taking the time to make sure this information is presented in a way that will speak best to the organisation in question.

This means putting a greater focus on prior jobs or courses that are most relevant to the position you're applying for, with descriptions that explain concisely how each of these experiences have provided you with the kind of skills that you know the employer will be seeking.

Keep the formatting snappy
Naturally, the substance of a CV should be considered its most important element, but that doesn't mean the style and presentation aren't also important. It's particularly vital to make sure the document is easy to scan for an employer who is likely to be reading it in a hurry.

As such, you should be making use of bullet points and logically-ordered lists, instead of large chunks of unbroken text, while also making sure the choice of font is professional and easy on the eye. Sticking to a length of no more than two sides of A4 is also considered to be a reliable general rule.

Use positive, objective-driven vocabulary
The choice of language in a CV can often say more about the applicant than they are consciously aware of, so you should take some time to review the tone of the document to make sure it's giving the right impression.

Using positive language is a must in this regard - when talking about past jobs, accentuate your achievements and the areas in which you excelled, rather than simply referring blandly to "duties" and "work". After all, employers will be looking for signs of enthusiasm, passion and evidence that you're someone who will go above and beyond.

Trim the fat
If you've finished writing up your CV and you notice it's ended up a little longer than you wanted it to be, then do take the time to go back through it and trim away the fat; it can be tempting to include as much information as possible, but when it comes to a resume, less is sometimes more.

Remember, for example, that a CV is not an essay - there's no need to write in full, flowing sentences when a simple list could communicate the same information in a smaller amount of space. Additionally, you should avoid spending too much time detailing irrelevant minor achievements or routine, unremarkable job responsibilities if you want to produce a CV that's all killer and no filler.