The content of your CV can make or break your chances of landing an interview. Here are 10 vital questions to keep in mind when writing your CV.
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In the job hunting process, standing out from the pack can be tough, particularly when you're up against several other candidates. A study showed that it takes just 7.4 seconds of skimming a CV, for most hiring managers to decide whether or not to pay attention to an applicant. Your CV must clearly respond to 10 important questions in order to stand out from the pile. If you can answer these questions, you'll have a better chance of earning a second look.
If you want your CV to capture the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter, look no further than this article. We discuss what questions most recruiters and hiring managers usually have in mind and how to go about answering them satisfactorily when writing your CV.
1. Does your CV demonstrate that you understand the recruiter's requirements?
Your CV and cover letter provide the best opportunities to answer this question. Properly using them increases your chances of moving to the next stage of the recruitment process.
To demonstrate that you understand the employer's requirements, you need to read through the job description and then include the relevant keywords from it in your CV and cover letter. This demonstrates to the recruiter that you read the job description.
There is no doubt that you can produce a CV that will appeal to a wide range of employers. However, you should never underestimate the importance of tailoring your CV to the exact requirements of a specific job role. While your cover letter will allow you to tailor your message to the unique job opening, making minor keyword changes when writing your CV can have a significant impact.
2. Do you possess the skills they require?
Your CV should clearly demonstrate your skills. It should show what you are good at and that you are capable of doing the job. The hiring manager, having read through your CV should be convinced that you are capable of doing the job and doing it successfully.
In addition to matching the language and keywords used in the job description, you could also:-
Adjust your career history to emphasize the benefits you can contribute
Include both technical and soft skills to provide the reader with a more complete picture of your current capabilities
Include links to your LinkedIn page and online portfolios of work to help the reader gain a better understanding of your current skills
3. Have you been able to produce results in the past?
Employers are all wary of hiring someone who could be a liability to the team or company.
As a result, you might expect them to question if you were an effective team player in previous employment. Include quantitative results from your efforts to former (and present) employers when writing your CV.
Using Problem-Action-Result statements is a smart approach to do this. Describe the issue you confronted, the actions you performed, and the outcomes.
4. Are you committed to this career?
The recruiter or hiring manager may question if you have problems sticking with a job, especially if you have worked at a variety of jobs or changed employers regularly. You don't want to send this signal.
If you have switched jobs or careers within short periods, you should downplay it in your CV. Stick to jobs that show you have the skills needed for the position. Another way is to demonstrate how each of your previous roles has contributed to your current professional path. You can also emphasize the features of previous jobs that apply to the present position.
5. Are you a responsible individual?
Employers often want to know if you are responsible enough to be the right fit for the job. They are usually looking for clues to know if:-
You easily get along with others
You are organized and can keep schedules and appointments
You are fine with authority
You have integrity
If you have related past experience, you can emphasize how your responsibilities have grown over time - as long as this is true. Your CV should show that your responsibilities have been increasing as you have progressed through your career. it is generally the case that more responsibility will only be given to a responsible employee.
6. Are you able to fulfill deadlines and work under pressure?
If the position you're seeking has strict deadlines and a fair amount of pressure, this would be a vital question to answer.
Use Problem-Action-Result statements to illustrate your ability to perform in high-pressure situations and meet deadlines. Saying you can accomplish something isn't the same as actually doing it.
7. Do you embody the company’s culture?
Hiring managers are frequently seeking out the correct match above all else.
Ten people might apply for a job role at a company with the ideal qualifications, but who will function best inside the company?
To evaluate if you're the proper fit, do some research on the organization and how it’s run. Self-motivated, rapid learners may be sought by start-up firms and creative agencies, whereas non-profit organizations will want somebody that is enthusiastic about their mission.
Highlight how you've worked on your personal growth or done volunteer work in the sector when writing your CV. It should demonstrate that you are motivated and committed, which is something that any organization wants.
8. Are you a person who strives for growth?
Recruiters and hiring managers are interested in more than just your current abilities. They like to know that you also have the ability to achieve great feats in the future. A great approach to do this is to show the reader in your CV that you are driven and have a plan to advance your career. Here are four options for achieving this:-
In your personal statement, express your ambitions and future intentions, tying them to the position in question.
Show how you've improved over time in each role in your employment history.
By adopting the skills part of your CV and weaving these talents into your career history, you can demonstrate your commitment to ongoing upskilling.
Also, make sure your credentials are up to date and contain dates of achievement when writing your CV. This will show your dedication to growth over time.
9. What sets you apart from the rest of the candidates?
Jobs are posted because there is a problem that needs to be solved or assistance that needs to be supplied. As a result, when examining your CV, the hiring manager or recruiter will be seeking indications of your value to the specific role and company.
Your CV should explain your special abilities and achievements. Thinking about your noteworthy achievement for each role, and including those is an excellent way to do this. Remember, the reader wants to know what you're capable of and needs to see proof of it.
10. Do you meet the qualifications of the job?
This can be shown in one of two ways, your education or your professional experience. If you have earned certifications or taken courses that would give credence to your application, you should add those to your CV.
The questions that each recruiter or hiring manager will be thinking about could be similar, however, the answers they seek will be distinct.
Take the time to customize your CV for each position you apply for, and make absolutely sure you answer every one of the questions above in a manner that will resonate with the hiring manager.