As one of the nation’s leading relocation specialists, HCR receives its fair share of CVs from those wishing to work within the industry.
With employers receiving tens – if not hundreds – of applications for every recruitment advertisement, managing director Rob Dolbear offers some advice to help potential employees stand out from the crowd.
“According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), almost half of all candidates are perfectly suitable for the role they are applying for,” he said. “And that is why it is so important to make sure your curriculum vitae is ‘spot on’.
“Getting the basics right is the place to start. Watch your spelling – and check your grammar. A comma in the wrong place can create all kinds of problems. Describing your hobbies as ‘cooking dogs, reading and sport’ is not ideal. Typos are dangerous. They convey a lack of attention to detail.
“Spell checking your CV is vital but it won’t pick up all errors, so don’t rely on it to proof-read your document. It’s always a good idea to ask a friend or relative to take a look.
“Going back to the hobbies. Listing these always helps an employer gain an understanding of you and the sort of person you are – but try not to list too many of them.
And be prepared to talk about some of them if asked. It’s no good saying you love Tae Kwon Do, for example, if you can’t list some of the moves. You never know when someone on the interview panel might share your ‘interest’.
“I find email addresses fascinating. I think if you’re going for a job with Google, you can probably get away with an amusing one. But some employers take email addresses very seriously and – sad as it may seem – they will view some as being wholly inappropriate and unprofessional. If your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org I’d advise creating a new one – just to use for you job applications.
“I’ve looked at hundreds of CVs over the course of my career, and I can never understand why so many applicants – particularly graduates – under-sell themselves. For example, if someone is going for a job in finance, the part time job they held in a shop whilst at university is highly relevant. Pointing out your experience of working with figures and cashing up will help tremendously, even if you feel you were only doing it to get by whilst studying.
“Always try to tailor your CV to the company you’re wishing to work for. I know it’s hard if you’re sending out dozens of applications but showing you have some background knowledge of a business – and can highlight where your skills, qualifications and experience fit in – is important.
“There are lots of details to think about when writing a CV – but making sure you get the basics right and accurately portraying your experience and personality is a surefire way of placing yourself ahead of the competition.”