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When you have decided to start looking for a new role and have commenced the process of signing-up with a recruitment or search firm and viewing adverts, you need to make sure your CV is looking its best!
At Halliday Marx we view thousands of resumes each week and so we know what does and doesn’t work, here are a few tips that will help your CV get to the top of the pile and secure you an interview.
It might seem obvious but it’s imperative you make it clear what qualifications you have, from what university, college, or professional body and when you achieved them. If you are part-qualified or have only completed certain course modules, you must still include these details.
Pop this up top, under your name and contact details. Keep it brief to no more than 3 to 4 lines. John Marx, Director of Halliday Marx adds “Any career summary, summarises you to the present. Make it factual and don’t show off, the hard sell on a CV telling us all how wonderful you are is a real turn off.”
For each organisation you have been employed by, include a short description of what the company does, size, revenue, number of employees, and location. This way, anyone reading your CV can be in no doubt about the industry and sector experience you have.
Paragraphs are much harder to read than bullet points which provide a concise, well-structured, and impactful format to ensure the reader identifies your key duties quickly and doesn’t get lost in too much detail. Bullet points with a sentence or two are more than acceptable, just be aware that you don’t want the reader of your CV to get bored!
Using the bullet points mentioned earlier, list your key responsibilities. If you are applying for a slightly different type of role than you are currently working in, make sure you emphasise areas of your existing responsibilities that match this new role.
This gives you an opportunity to highlight the things you have done successfully and the positive outcomes for the business in each role you’ve had. John Marx likes specifics: “If you’ve just completed a role without any change or improvements, list those under responsibilities.
Achievements are above and beyond your job description, make them measurable and definable and highlight the positive impact it had on the company. For example, the implementation of a new accounting software that allowed the board to see in real time all analysis reports, saving 4 days’ worth of work per month or how you process re-engineered the month-end workflow to reduce reporting days from 10 down to 7, saving £40,000 per annum.”
Your future employer will want to see your career progression. This shows that you have been recognised and are capable of taking on additional responsibilities. Demonstrate your career journey by listing out each role along with the associated period and what you achieved as mentioned previously.
It’s valuable to show that you can work as part of a team but make sure you don’t downplay your own involvement in project you have worked on. For example, if you were involved in implementing a new client accounting system be clear about exactly what elements of the work you were responsible for and the eventual outcomes.
When you look at the advert or position description for the role you are interested in, what are the keywords and terms that stand out? Ensure you update your CV to include these as remember, your potential employer might have a mountain of CVs and so will be scanning for these important keywords.
Including your experience with specific software and systems is also crucial, particularly accounting software packages and expertise level with Excel. Not only will it show your knowledge and experience, but it will also show potential employers that you have the ability and aptitude to learn different ways of working.
Nothing can let you down more than sloppy grammar and spelling! Make sure you proofread your CV until you are absolutely sure it is correct. It’s always worth getting another set of eyes to take a look or use one of the online tools to help you.
If you would like any more advice on this topic or if you’re looking for your next role, please get in touch with our specialist team today on 020 7096 8200 or email us at [email protected]
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