It’s a tall order to display your professional life concisely in two pages of A4, yet it’s critical to your application success. Sometimes it seems akin to magic as to why hiring managers favour one CV over another. But as the best London recruitment agency for office support jobs, we know it’s far from magic. You do need to know the winning formula though, and that comes down to understanding the secrets of a successful CV. And we’re here to reveal them to you.
Looks are important, but not in the way that you think
Before you reach for the fancy fonts, colours and a propensity for highlighting… the look of your CV is important, but not in terms of it being eye-catching. Instead, what actually attracts the hiring manager, rather than spells ‘gimmick,’ is simplicity.
There needs to be plenty of white space to make it easy to read, an inoffensive professional font, and careful use of bold and bullet points.
Whether the hiring manager is using an automated Applicant Tracking System or not, the words you pick need to work. Avoid meaningless clichés such as “team player” but do use words and phrases from the job description, person specification and advert.
However, the real trick is to provide evidence for what you say. So by all means rave about your team-working skills, but do it by saying the role you played in a team and outlining your collective achievement.
Successful CVs are honest CVs. There’s an authenticity that allows the strengths and skills of the candidate to shine through.
Being honest applies to gaps in your CV too. We’ve shared more previously about how to manage gaps in your CV.
Highlight your achievements
The main focus of your CV, particularly the career history section, should rest on your achievements. Often, people write their CVs focusing on the duties of their employment. Instead, frame your career history around your achievements. This shows how you’ve added value in different roles.
It can be helpful if you shape these to the specific role you are applying for. An example for those applying for office support jobs in London may be that the job description calls for excellent knowledge of Excel. You could just write “I am proficient with Excel”. But, more powerfully, you could say “I developed a complex spreadsheet within Excel to streamline X process, saving the department Y hours per week.”
Get the basics spot on
Grammar and spelling are the underrated heroes of a CV, particularly for those applying for office support jobs in London. Not only do they ensure the reader isn’t negatively distracted, they also showcase your attention to detail skills, word processing skills and communication skills.
Take time to word your CV carefully and also get several different people to check it for you.
Do you need a CV check?
Our recruitment consultants are always happy to take a look at your CV and give you pointers for improving it. With their breadth and depth of experience, you too can have a successful CV.
Register as a candidate.
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