A New Year could be the optimum time to secure a new job. Core-Asset Consulting’s Julia Patience, who specialises in interim, temporary and contract positions, has some good CV advice for prospective job hunters.

Getting off on the right foot and getting your CV noticed in amongst sometimes hundreds of other applications for a sought-after post is vital. And if your CV doesn’t look the part you may fail at the first hurdle.

1. Use a quality template

Using a good quality CV template can not only make it much less time consuming when drafting your CV,it can also help make it stand out to potential employers and recruiters.

The likes of Word and Apple have plenty of options. Ultimately, it’s the content that the recruiter is looking at, so it doesn’t have to be overly fancy, but if it looks good it has more chance of getting you noticed.

2. Ensure your contact details are correct

Make sure your name and up-to-date contact details are at the top of the CV. A very basic tip, but an oversight often made by candidates. If your details aren’t correct, you may not be able to be contacted for your dream role.

3. Use an easy to follow layout

A good layout, with all the relevant information, will help the employer or recruiter sum up at a glance whether you could be (or not) ideal for the role.

The person sifting CVs is often going through hundreds of them and simply does not have the time to go through word by word, so the easier you make it for them to read, the better your chance of making it to the next stage.

4. Check your spelling

Accounting for up to 30% of CVs (dependent on the role) – bad spelling is often the number one mistake candidates make when applying for jobs.

Check your spelling across the document. If there are spelling mistakes, capital letters missing or bad grammar, it shows that the person does not have great attention to detail and therefore may not be right for the role.

Spelling errors can instantly put recruiters or employers off and give the impression the applicant has not taken care when compiling their CV.

5. Make sure your information is accurate

Your CV has to be accurate. Don’t embellish your job experience and in particular educational qualifications, as discrepancies will be picked up in the vetting process.

It’s possible that over the last two Covid-impacted years that many people have completed study courses or additional professional qualifications during enforced downtime and that is commendable.

However, if you have listed a qualification but did not fully complete the course of study, it is important to make this distinction on your CV to avoid it catching you out at a later stage.

Your CV has to be accurate. Don’t embellish your job experience and in particular educational qualifications, as discrepancies will be picked up in the vetting process.

Julia Patience Business Manager, Interim, Temporary & Contract

6. List your experience chronologically

Listing work-life experience and jobs in a chronological order – with most recent at the top – will help the employer get a quick impression of what the person has been doing.

If it’s upside-down, back-to-front and the last role is, for example 2005, it would wrongly suggest the applicant has not been overly active in employment.

Some people will also forget to update CVs to include their most recent role or current status – so it’s unclear if the applicant is still working in a post or is ready to start a fresh role immediately.

7. Don’t be a ‘serial applicant’

Recruiters often cross reference CVs received with those held on their database, so they can see at a glance if the applicant has applied previously for a particular post, or is indeed the person is a “serial applicant”.

If someone has applied several times for the same post, it is safe to assume they have not been taken forward for a reason.

Serial applications, from those keen to get a foot in the door, are especially common in attractive client companies who everyone wants to work for. But this approach doesn’t help anyone – the client wants people who are the right fit for the job and it is important you are applying to the role that’s right for you, not just a company that you would like to work for.

8. Update your LinkedIn to match your CV

It is important to keep your profile up-to-date on LinkedIn. Almost certainly, recruiters will check out potential candidates online, so it is important that your online profile (or CV) matches the document that has been submitted.

Equally vital for your online profile is to include relevant keywords which highlight your experience and skills and/or the type of role/job you are interested in. This makes it more likely that recruiters will find your profile via online search and that you will be targeted with job opportunities that match your aspirations and skill set, while avoiding unwelcome approaches regarding roles that are not suitable.