Preparing your CV
What do we look for when we shortlist?
Your CV is a tool with one purpose: to secure an interview. It should present you in the best possible light and convince a prospective employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this specific position or career.
You don’t have much time to impress with your CV – research shows that employers scan, rather than read, CVs – so to make sure it stimulates interest, follow these basic tips to enhance your chances of securing an interview:
- Avoid coloured paper or type, fancy fonts, photographs or clever delivery approaches
- Be truthful and don’t be afraid to sell your skills
- Keep the look simple and make your point quickly
- Use the past tense and choose strong action verbs
- Avoid speaking about yourself in the third person
- Avoid jargon and acronyms that other people might not understand
- Tailor your CV for each specific application
- Include the company profile of the organisations that you have worked for
- Make your CV results oriented: give proof to back up your capability statements.
- Personal Information: Include your name, full address, telephone numbers (day/evening/mobile) and email address.
Preparing for interview
You aced your CV and secured an interview. How you present and market yourself at interview is crucial in determining whether or not you secure the job you want. The purpose of this guide is to provide you with best practice advice as well as hints and tips on undertaking a successful interview.
Try using the following tips when preparing for interview:
- The exact time and location of the interview, route, transport options, parking and how long it will take to get there.
- The interviewer’s correct title and pronunciation of his or her full name.
- Specific facts about the company – its history, financial position, mission, markets, competitors, latest news, products and services. The company’s website is often an excellent source of this information. Simple internet searches can also reveal information that may not be profiled on the company’s website.
- Facts and figures about your present or former employer. Refresh your memory on this as you will be expected to know a lot about a company for which you have previously worked.