CV tips for job seekers by Director Tammy Smith

In a busy jobs market like the one we are currently experiencing, competition for roles is higher than ever and so differentiating plays an integral part in getting the job you really want.

The CV is the crucial starting point, it is the first representation of you to an employer or recruiter and so you should be completely happy with it.

It is a tricky balancing act between keeping it brief and to the point whilst really selling yourself, your experience and skills.

AFR host workshops for candidates on CV writing and some of our top tips are below:

  • List career history, educational achievements and qualifications in reverse chronological order – current or latest first – and always explain any gaps
  • List achievements and responsibilities – including more detail on the most recent and relevant. Include computer skills, languages, training, and any relevant awards
  • Avoid superfluous, personal stuff like; age, religion, sex
  • Quantify your achievements: Don’t just say “Reduced costs”, “Increased efficiency”, for example, always give tangible evidence of your skills and competencies. Describe the job or task you did, and then back up with demonstrable and quantifiable results.
  • Don’t write in the first person – start sentences with verbs “developed; generated; reduced; exceeded; invented; rejuvenated
  • Avoid jargon and the use of too many acronyms
  • Keep your hobbies & interests to a minimum – consider relevance
  • Referees can be provided on request’ – consider testimonials on Linked in
  • Use relevant job specs as a guide to what of your experience is most relevant and highlight accordingly.

Something else which we strongly recommend for our candidates is building a strong Linked in profile – it is a tool which is becoming increasingly well used by recruiters and companies recruiting with financial services is in the top 3 professions using it (for more information check out our blog on how to get the most out of Linked in)

At AFR when we register a candidate we check and  format CVs into a standard template before presenting them to a client but it is still important to remember that you need to make a good impression from the off, as we will be representing other candidates as well and you want to stand out.

For when it comes to the next stages, all candidates are interviewed by a consultant before being put forward for any roles, which gives opportunity to draw key elements from the CV for discussing. Our consultants will coach you through linking areas of your experience and CV to relevant job descriptions.