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Focus' CV Tips - improving your CV

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Since starting Focus 30 years ago, we believe we have a unique position in the industry to give support and advice of the development of your CV.

Since 1990 things have certainly moved on.  No longer are we sifting through the daily post bags of paper CV’s but are now dealing with the immediacy of email applications with CV’s attached in soft copy.

Whilst the medium has changed, there are still core fundamentals that are important when you are crafting your CV.  A document that plays a significant part in your eventual selection for a new role.

In these challenging times, we thought we would give you some tips to develop a successful CV. We hope you find it useful and helpful.  

#1  Never Pay to have a CV Developed

There are enough online free sites to give you a head start, and your friends and contacts will also help develop your CV.

#2  Two Pages are Plenty

Be succinct, be factual, be accurate.  On average a Job has over 30 applications, currently that is far higher.  More than two pages and you are likely to be rejected before you’ve had chance to sell yourself.

#3  Do not title it with Curriculum Vitae

It is obvious what the document is so save space with your name at the top instead.

#4  Use Bullet Points, Facts and Figures

A good way to make the point and save space.  A percentage increase / a financial saving are great points to make and take less space than a fuller explanation.

#5  Use a Readable Font and Format

There is nothing worse than a hard to read CV so please do not get carried away. Keep it simple, business like and simply formatted.

#6  Make Sure it is Accurate with No Mistakes

Candidates get rejected for typos, date mistakes, grammar errors.  Check, check and check again and then ask someone to check it.  We lose count of simple errors that at best are embarrassing and at worst ends the application process for some.  Grammar and dates are frequently inaccurate.

#7  Consider your Audience

Who is reading the document – what do they need to see? Consider a bespoke CV for different applications.  Allowing you to show different achievements and skills. 

#8 Do not Let the Robot Say No

Many CV's are now sifted by AI, make sure you have the key words needed to get picked up.  Boolean search and AI searches are the norm so highlight skills, qualifications accurately.

#9  Do not Assume Everyone will know your Current/Past Employer or Understand Job Titles

Often Recruiters are not experts in the field they are recruiting.  They may have no knowledge of the company you are working for and job titles can also mean different things in different environments or sectors.  Give some context to accountabilities and business type.

#10 Appraise the CV with the "So What Edit”?

Why is what you have written important?  If it isn’t, why is it in the document?  Be robust with the edit and proud of what you have achieved.

#11  Do not Exaggerate or Worse Lie

You will be caught out at interview or when starting the new role.  The Food and Beverage sectors are relatively small.  People will know you and may have worked with you previously.  Be accurate.

#12  Know the Document Inside Out

Your CV is “you”, you should know every line of it.  It is important you have memorised every section and can elaborate as required.

#13  Be Confident

A well crafted CV will help you get the next job.  If you have spent the time to develop a great document and it is a true reflection of your achievements and career history, then your interview will be a lot easier, as quite simply you are talking about you.

But don’t let rejection get you down, learn from it, take the feedback, reflect and make changes if needed.  Finding a job can be a full time role, but a well crafted relevant and contemporary CV will help you on your way.

Team Focus