It’s a pretty plain title for a blog and maybe in this day and age with the all the media by which you can market yourself, the paper CV may soon be a thing of the past.  As this post in Recruitment Grapvine suggests, the CV is evolving:

The face of recruitment has evolved to keep up with technology, with ‘tinderesque’ job apps, the rise of LinkedIn, online résumés and even personal websites being an easier way to advertise roles, and build up knowledge of a candidate.

No matter which platform or approach you use, however, there are still some principles that stand true when putting your best foot forward as you apply for jobs.  I recently had a great chat with an HR person from one of our major graduate recruiters, and she made some really good points that apply to anyone, no matter how experienced:

  • Consider the reader.  Know what they are looking for and address it as you would for a university assignemnt or test.  Answer the question!
  • Be focussed. Employers can tell at first glance if you are taking a ‘scattergun’ approach.  Do you really want the job?  Can you imagine yourself working in the role for at least a year? What would you be doing?  What would you be learning? Just sending our 50 CVs because you need a job and not really looking at what the employer is looking for is a sure way to not getting shortlisted.
  • On the other hand, don’t be afraid of holes.  You are not going to have all the requirements for the job.  Obviously there are specialist professional roles that have key requirements – you can’t just bluff your way into flying a plane or doing heart surgery.  But it is better that you address the gaps in your experience with transferable skills than ignoring them and hoping they will be overlooked. Think hard to make the link between your experiences and the “missing” job requirement. A lot of hiring managers are generous if they see you have put some research time and thought into your application.
  • Make your content meaningful.  If you have a whole lot of similar cafe jobs for example, focus on the key skills you have gained across all of them such as sole charge responsibility, time management, going the extra mile for customers, quality control, co-ordination.


So while the CV in its current form, along with a focussed cover letter remains the most common mode of job application, here are some guidelines to get you started: Looking for Work and Job Applications to get focussed, then Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) to get started.

We have also recently refreshed our CV Samples on CareerHub for students and graduates across a range of work areas.  Keeping the above “no scattergun” rule in mind, don’t just cut and paste from these samples. A sample CV can give you starters with layout, tone and some content but it’s really important that you come up with a document that is authentic to you and adresses the needs of the prospective employer. This will  make you stand out and be the make or break factor when it comes to being shortlisted for interviews.

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CVs, Looking for work