The first post in our series of blogs focusing on gaining a place on the ZeroLight Internship Program looks at how to develop an outstanding CV that stands out from the crowd.
Cut out the padding
On average, we receive between 5 - 10 CVs per day, more if we are promoting a role. With this level of competition for positions it's important that your CV is clear and concise. 1-2 pages is enough, with a focus on your experience and what you achieved in your last position. We don't have time to read several opening paragraphs listing generic skills, we want concrete evidence that you match our role profile and we want to see that as soon as we open your CV.
Tailor your CV
You should tailor your CV to every role you apply for. Take the job description for the position you are interested in and ensure that your CV covers the requirements of this. Read up on the ethos of the company and highlight some key words that you can drop into your covering letter.
Focus on achievements rather than responsibilities
Including a long list of responsibilities from your former employment tells us nothing about the impact you made there. We want to see what you achieved in your last job, that you were a valued member of staff who made an impression. Supplementing achievements for responsibilities shows you understand the bigger picture and that you can measure your productivity in terms of what you accomplished.
Find the right word
Be careful how you describe yourself, not only does this need to be succinct but it also needs to accurate and appropriate. Too many CVs rely on phrases like ‘honest, reliable and trustworthy' - these are qualities that should come as standard and essentially you are using three words to say the same thing. You need to give more thought to how you describe yourself. Again, refer back to the job description to pinpoint what qualities your prospective employer is looking for.
Getting the spelling right
There is nothing more frustrating than poor spelling and grammar. It shows a lack of attention to detail from the candidate and is often more than enough to reject a CV. If you are not sure, look it up!
Keep the font uniform
You might want to adjust the font size or use bold for headers, but keep these uniform throughout the document and keep the font consistent. Opt for a professional standard font that is easy to read. Different fonts will make the document look as though it has been copied and pasted from multiple sources and will distract from what you are trying to say. Keep the layout simple and let your experience do the talking.