Here at communikate et al we’re passionate about truly valuing our employees, providing great career opportunities, and creating a fun and inspiring place to work. This culture is what attracted me and many of my colleagues to join the “CK” team. It also means I’ve had more than a few CVs hit my inbox over the years! Some have been absolute standouts, others memorable for the wrong reasons. So here’s my 7 tips for writing a CV that will get you noticed…
1. It’s all in a name
Don’t address your cover letter/email “To whom it may concern” – it’s impersonal and shows you haven’t gone to any effort to research the company you’re applying to. Most websites will list staff members and it’s easy to see who the HR manager is. If in doubt, call the office and ask who to address your application to. This leads me to my next tip…
2. Do your research
Make sure you properly understand the company you’re applying to. Not just what they do, but why and how they do it. Understand their culture, vision and, most importantly, their values. Again, this information is often found on the company website. Organisational values and culture are not just buzzwords; many businesses genuinely live by them and play a big part in recruitment decisions.
3. Tailor your cover letter
Your cover letter/email is your first impression. It’s easy to tell when an applicant has used generic wording which they’ve sent to 20 companies before (especially if they’ve accidentally referred to a competitor’s name somewhere in the letter!). But don’t just copy and paste what you find on the website. Weave their language through your writing, explain how their values reflect yours, and your connection to the company vision. It shows you’re genuinely engaged with the business before you’ve even met them.
4. Talk results
Most applicants recite their job description when listing the tasks they’ve completed in previous roles, but very few highlight the results achieved. What goals and objectives did you meet or exceed? What difference did you make to the business or your clients?
5. Get creative
While it might not be suitable for a super-corporate job, think about ways to make your application stand out from the rest. I recently saw an application for a winery marketing role where the applicant made a wine label about herself and attached it to a cleanskin to accompany her CV. Another great example was a book made by our very own Amber Thompson when she applied for work experience four years ago (she’s a consultant now!).
6. Be a detail freak
Spell-check, spell-check, spell-check! Attention to detail is so important. It might sound harsh, but if you make spelling mistakes in your job application, what does that say about the work you’ll deliver on the job? And simple things like easy-to-read font, consistent headings and properly formatted bullet points allow the reader to focus on the content without distraction.
7. Follow up but don’t harass
Like most people these days, HR managers are busy, so don’t take it personally if you don’t receive a reply straight away. If the job advertisement hasn’t specified when you should expect to be contacted, or you’ve simply registered your interest, a polite follow up call after one week is perfectly fine.