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CV Tips

NMS Recruit's Top 5 CV tips

Your CV is the key item in the job seeking toolkit. It's the introduction to your outstanding range of skills and your first chance to impress an employer or recruiter.

A good CV needs to outline your skills and suitability for a role. On average, recruiters spend just eight seconds scanning a CV to see whether or not you're The One. So, make sure all the key information is upfront and available for them to see.

Here are NMS’s top five tips for giving your CV maximum impact and getting your foot in the door:

1. Tailor your CV

Make sure you tailor your CV for every job you apply for. Read the job description and required skill set and ensure you list your key skills and experience first. Recruiters are faced with multiple CVs for every job they advertise. By making sure you have all of the key skills required for the role you'll immediately save them a whole lot of time and effort and ensure your CV goes to the top of the pile.

2. Keep it concise

Your CV should ideally be no longer than three pages of A4. Recruiters need to know about your skills and previous work experience so they can assess your suitability for the job on offer, but they have many CVs to read through in a day and won't be impressed with a detailed five-page history that includes your time at computer camp when you were 12.

Rather than writing long paragraphs about time spent in a specific role, bullet point key bits of information. Address all of the key skills required in the job description but remember that your CV is only the first step. Save the detailed explanation of your suitability for the role for your job interview. Basically, don't give away the farm.

3. Don’t leave gaps

Leaving gaps in your career history just makes recruiters and prospective employers wonder what you were up to during that time. List any gaps in your career with a suitable explanation – whether it was a career break or travelling

If you undertook any additional training during this period, make sure it's listed alongside any other activity you undertook which may have helped develop other transferable skills.

4. Remove the errors

One of the main reasons for CV rejection is errors and spelling mistakes. Always check your CV for basic spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – don’t just use your spellchecker (it sometimes gets it wrong), get a friend or relative to proof read your CV as well.

5. Tell the truth

Always tell the truth about your skills and experience. If you don’t, you'll be caught out at some point – whether it’s during the interview process or, far worse, when you've actually got the job.

Most companies will check the facts you've stated like qualifications and previous employment history, but this also includes hobbies or interests you've listed.