Is your CV tailor-made?

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An important part of our work at iMultiply is to match you up to the perfect role and that all starts with your CV.

There are an abundance of articles out there telling you about how to deal with competency based interviews, questions you might want to ask and even tips on negotiating salary or how to resign.

First things first, though. We need to help you to get to the point where you are selected for interview.

You won’t be shocked to hear that recruiters, both on the agency side and in-house, are inundated with CVs every day. It’s part of the job.

So too, is the inevitable, “we can’t consider you for this role because you need experience in X,Y,or Z…..” response that we have to deliver all too regularly.

One situation that is pleasantly surprising is when we’re told by potential candidates, “oh, I can actually do all of that. I’ve just not included it in my CV”. It happens a lot and I hate to see great candidates miss out on their dream job simply because their CV hasn’t been tailored to match what the employer is looking for.

 

Here are my inside tips for increasing your chances of getting through the job application stage and getting called to interview:

Include your contact details

Easy one to start with. You may be thinking “Is this guy for real?!” You’d be surprised……..

Moving on.

Education

There’s no right or wrong answer to where to put education details, although lots of people tend to disagree. Personally, if a role requires an accountancy qualification and you have completed ACCA, it would be worth including near the top.

High school qualifications are fine but the primary school you attended? Maybe leave that out.

Should you include a personal statement?

This is another one which sparks debate. Generally, if there is a list of fifty CVs to review, a lengthy “all about me” paragraph will be skipped completely by the reader.

I tend to find a Key Skills section in nice, neat bullet points works much better, as it grabs the attention straight away.

Put some thought into this though.

The good old, “I can work as part of a team as well as on my own” and other similar gems are fine if you’re applying for your first job when leaving school but are unlikely to cut the mustard for a senior finance position.

Spend some time tailoring this for each job you apply for. If a role requires experience of managing a team, knowledge of IFRS, corporate tax experience etc, make sure this is included.

Employment History

Here’s a few pointers:

  • Most recent jobs first and work backwards.
  • You may wish to provide an overview of the company detailing what they do, turnover, number of employees, etc.
  • Generally, employers will look at the last 5-10 years so spend some time expanding this section. Anything older than that can be condensed.
  • List your responsibilities in bullet points. This tends to work much better than long paragraphs.
  • If you’ve been with your most recent employer for, let’s say, the last 5 years, it’s unlikely 3 lines will provide enough information. You’ll need some detail in there.
  • If it’s a temporary role, say so. This can help to add some context around any moves you’ve made, especially if you have held a few temp positions. This can help to nullify the “this person is a bit jumpy” response that may crop up.

How long should it be?

Good question…..it is best to keep your CV to 1 to 2 pages. For a qualified accountant, a 1-pager definitely won’t be detailed enough but it may be perfect at graduate level.

So that’s that. Straightforward enough. It just takes a bit of extra care and attention at the application stage and you’ll almost certainly be selected for more interviews. If you would like some assistance with your CV, or if you’re keen to discuss the current market, register here or get in touch.

You can reach me on 01416489153 or iainhughes@imultiplyresourcing.com