As Recruiters for a variety of organisations throughout Cyprus, a huge part of our role involves reviewing the large number of applications we receive from hopeful job applicants and screening them to ensure that only the most relevant, appealing and professional are presented to our clients for review.
On average we receive in excess of 400 CVs per week, both to specific job vacancies we advertise through various channels and from those individuals who send us their CVs to store and index for future reference.
Years and years of experience looking through CVs has given us the ability to screen and filter profiles efficiently and effectively and it has also taught us some of the key areas that applicants should focus on to ensure that their CV and overall job application stand-out and stay relevant and appealing in what is an increasingly competitive employment market.
When composing your CV you must first focus on the fact that it needs to be a 'marketing' document that needs to 'sell' you to prospective employers and as a result it shouldn't be ‘long-winded’ with large 'chunks' of text, but rather a concise and punchy document that is easy to navigate and makes it clear from the outset what type of candidate you are.
Always start with a short personal summary that highlights your academic background, your career achievements to date and of course your career aspirations. This really sets the tone for your CV and immediately engages the reader to continue on.
If you are a Recent Graduate or a candidate with little or no working experience make sure you focus on your academic background, including your School Leaving Certificate Grade and of course your Further Education (if applicable). It is useful for employers to know some of the key modules you covered at University as well the subject of your dissertation as this gives greater insight into your academic life.
For those of you with greater and recent practical professional experience highlight your key duties and responsibilities in bullet point form, rather than long paragraphs of text. This enables the reader to quickly and clearly understand your current and previous roles and allows them to easily judge if you have the right experience they are looking for. Also, try to highlight key achievements in each of the roles you have undertaken, such as Sales Targets, Cost-Saving Initiatives, Key Projects you have delivered and so on.
Make sure you highlight some of your key skills in a separate section of your CV, outlining either technical or business-related competencies that will appeal to Hiring Managers and again set you above the competition and always make sure you highlight your key IT and language skills.
A great CV should be no longer than 2 pages in length unless you have a very extensive career history. You have to remember that the person reading your application may have 50 other CVs to read that morning (and if they are a Recruiter even more!!!) so always remember to keep it to the point, engaging and memorable.
Beyond a good CV it is vital that you also prepare a Covering Letter/Email to accompany any applications you make. It is incredible how many CVs we receive with no covering emails; simply a blank email with an attachment. This for us is a sure way to start off on the wrong footing and put your application to the bottom of the pile. Again you must engage with the reader, address him/her professionally, highlight the role you are applying for and the reasons why you believe you are a good fit for the position. Sign off by thanking them for taking the time to ready your application and by stating that you hope to have the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face to discuss what value you can add to their organisation.
For those of you needing any assistance with the above; CareerFinders offers tailored CV Writing and Career-Coaching workshops, where we will work closely with individuals to help them develop and produce an excellent CV and Cover Letter to maximise their chances of finding that dream job – for more information please visit http://www.careerfinders.com.cy/cv-writing