How to write a great CV and tips for smashing your interviews

CV

Applying for jobs can be an incredibly daunting process, and with so much competition out there, your CV needs be absolutely flawless.

If you get it wrong, you’ll undoubtedly face constant rejection, however get it right and you’ll secure an interview in no time. If you aren’t quite sure how to improve, or maybe you don’t even have a clue where to start, check out the advice given by experts at www.careermap.co.uk to ensure your CV stands out from the crowd.

Skip the waffle

Delete unnecessary waffle and get straight down to business; a recruiter doesn’t have time to search for your best qualities in between the fluff so keep your personal statement short and sweet if you want to be noticed. Tailor this section to every job you apply for, highlighting the specific qualities outlined in the job description that match you to the role. Phrases such as ‘team player’ and ‘attention to detail’ tell the employer nothing, instead use examples and more exciting ways to get your point across to keep the recruiter interested and engaged.

Liven it up

List your education in reverse chronological order, including the names of the institutions, the dates that you attended them and the qualifications you received whilst there. If you’re at university, highlight the modules that you performed best in that are also most relevant for the job you are applying for. If you have examples of assignments or projects you’ve worked on that are relevant and show off your skills,, feature them to liven up your simple list of grades.

Wave goodbye to the generic clichés

The skills and hobbies section of your CV gives you a perfect opportunity to show off more about yourself and give an impression of your personality. However, listing that you know how to use Microsoft Excel isn’t exactly a deal breaker these days and can just lead to your CV looking like it’s been copied and pasted from a list of generic skills. Aim to list about four or five extra-curricular activities and strengths that make you stand out and are in some way relevant to the job you’re applying for. More tips and tricks for writing the perfect CV can be found here: https://careermap.co.uk/how-to-write-the-perfect-cv/

Now you’ve sent off your CV and have been invited back for an interview, you’re probably panicked about what happens next. Well, the team have come up with their top interview tips to give you the best chance of achieving your dream job.

Research and preparation

Perhaps the most important thing to remember, never turn up to an interview without first preparing. Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, look up the route you’ll take to get there and the best time to leave the night before. To be at your top performance, have a hearty breakfast and bring a chocolate bar with you as studies have shown that sugary foods can often act as a great short term mental boost, exactly what you need immediately before your interview.

Knowing what the company does is one thing, however understanding their values and goals is a completely different story. Any candidate you’re up against should have at least a vague idea of what the job they’re up for entails, however make yourself stand out by paying close attention to company events, such as sponsorships, and bring these up in interviews. Your potential employers will be impressed at the level of detail you’ve gone into and will appreciate that you’ve done the research, enhancing your chances greatly.

Questions

Whilst these questions will test how much you know about the area you want to work in and how much you know about the job, this is also the stage of the interview where you can show off your personality. Try to prepare interesting and unique answers to common interview questions and steer away from the clichés if you want to make a lasting impression.  Relax and throw yourself into a conversation with your interviewer to demonstrate that not only do you have the right skills but you can also build a great rapport with your colleagues.

Appearance

First impressions really do count and the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ really goes out the window here. Dressing smart and professional is crucial as it will give your potential employers a reflection of your work ethic and attitude. A smooth and sleek look will make it seem like you’ve got everything together (even if you haven’t) and that you are perfect for the job.

Walk into the building with a smile on your face as you never know who is walking around and observing you; you could be walking past your potential employer or manager. Demonstrate your enthusiasm and energy for the job but be careful not to come across as too cocky as you may put your interviewer off.

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