The speed read challenge
As a Coach and Business English Teacher, I am often asked to review CVs and regularly give classes on CV writing. Now, I am not going to bang on about grammar, vocabulary and layout. They are of course important, but plenty has been written around those subjects! However, you might like to know that an HR professional told me recently that he spends an average of less than a minute reading most of the CVs that come across his desk. This may seem harsh, but in these turbulent times, where competition for every post is high, your CV needs to make a strong impact in order to pass that “one minute test” and encourage the recruiter to read on.
Take your time
CVs are deceptively tricky to write as they operate on many different levels. This is a document that can affect your quality of life, your career progression , your level of compensation and future prospects – so time, energy and preparation are needed to get it right! Here are a few questions to consider as you prepare your CV for submission.
- Why am I telling them this? This is probably the most important question of all. Tailor your CV to the ad and make sure that it addresses the needs of the recruiter.
- Does your CV contain a persuasive, compelling description of why they should hire you? Demonstrate how you will add value in simple, specific language.
- Is your objective clear to the recruiter? There should be a link between the job ad and your next career step on your CV.
- Does your CV tell the story of your success so far? Achievement statements, the more specific the better, will show potential employers how effectively you operate.Keep to the facts, put the key achievement first and make sure it’s relevant to the role you are applying for.
- Can the reader retrieve specific information relating to the ad easily? Including key words will make it easier for recruiters and search engines to find what they need to focus on.
- If you are thinking of a career change or would like some help with your CV in English, please don’t hesitate to contact me
- Not sure of the correct spelling or pronunciation of a word? For a free online English dictionary try the following link www.macmillandictionary.com