The Christmas break is a big time for job hunters, so if you’re looking to apply to more positions this holiday season, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. This time of year, recruiters have admitted to throwing 90% of CVs they receive straight in the bin, and recruitment experts want applicants to make the most of the festive period by preparing them for the year ahead.
For the team at writing service The CV Squad, job hunting sites are making the process too easy. With so many offering the ability to apply with just a single click, the days of a carefully curated CV are quickly being replaced by mass-application and companies are relying more and more on algorithms to cut the wheat from the chaff.
Application tracking technology like the ATS algorithm mean that not only does your CV now need to catch the eye of employers, but also needs to work well with what the system scans for. Without preparing for ATS, your CV won’t even make it into recruiters’ hands.
“Almost all large employers and recruitment agencies now use ATS in some form, the computer says yes or no first,” said Ben Muir, Director of The CV Squad. “If your CV passes through this pre-screening phase, it then needs to be attractive, easy to read and relevant, in order to instantly grab the attention of the human recruiter.”
Muir has provided his top tips on how to manage your CV this Christmas.
- Try as best you can to keep your CV to two pages
- Write your name and contact details at the top of page one and in the footer of all pages
- Have a strong opening summary with the first sentence explaining exactly what you do. For example, if you are a ‘Sales Manager’, put this in the first sentence to enable the recruiter to instantly connect you to the job
- Use the rest of page one to provide the reader with as much “high-line” information about you as possible. Key skills, attributes/soft skills, major achievements, education and voluntary work are vital
- Use page two for a short, sharp career history and create a journey for the recruiter.
- Make it easy to read and include your job title, the name of the organisation, time in position and your key responsibilities and achievements
- Only ever go to three pages if the content is especially relevant to the position you are applying to OR if you are a contractor/ freelancer and need to detail the projects you have worked on
- Never put referee contact details on your CV as some recruiters will use this information to contact your ex-boss (or even current boss!) and sell their services to them