When you send out CV's, to prospective employers, you might be surprised to find out that you only have between 5-10 seconds at the most to impress them and be shortlisted. In those 5-10 seconds, it is not necessarily the most qualified person who will be put in the shortlist pile, but it is the one who is the best at being able to get noticed by his or her CV. This requires a combination of good content and attractive appearance.
6 Steps to creating the perfect CV:
1. Create an X Factor.
2. Shine and stand out from the crowd.
3. Ensure you are accurate and honest.
4. Be yourself.
5. Show off and be proud.
6. Give your CV a ‘Wow’ effect.
Create an X Factor
Your CV should be designed as a document to 'sell' you to your prospective employer. It simply has to have the X Factor and stand out from all the other CV’s, if you are to stand a chance of winning an interview.
Stand out from the crowd
Recruiters and employers see hundreds of CVs and most of them look the same. As a result, many of them don't even get read. Be different and make yours stand out.
Be accurate and honest
Employers are likely to check the dates of previous employment and to ask you about your achievements detailed on your CV so make sure you use the correct information.
Let your personality shine through whilst being professional. After all, you want your employer to think of you as a person, not just a piece of paper.
Show off / Be proud
Shout about the things you are really good at and all those fantastic things you have achieved in your previous work, at college and in your personal life. It's one of the only opportunities you will get to boast without being accused of showing off!
Think about the WOW effect
Having read your CV you want your prospective employer to say 'Wow, I want to meet this person'.
So how do you create an outstanding CV?
Before you even start writing your CV, there is some essential preparation work to be done.
You will need to gather together the following information:
•Exact dates of all your previous jobs
•Details of all training courses you have attended
•Details of all your qualifications and certifications
2. Creating the ‘X’ factor.
Many people struggle to come up with an 'X' factor – the following should help.
Cast your mind forward and imagine you have landed your dream job and are working for a company you love. Keep this picture in your mind and write down your answers to the following questions:
1. What qualities do you most admire in yourself?
2. What does your mother most like about you?
3. What does your best friend most like about you?
4. Why would you employ you?
You should now have a list of positive, good words which describe you and you should be well on the way to having an 'X'.
An 'X' Factor is not just about who you are but also what you can do. So let's have a look at your achievements to date. List your last 3 jobs on a piece of paper and think of 3 achievements you are proud of for each job you have had. An achievement may be winning an award or simply receiving an exceptionally nice comment from a customer. This needs to be personal and it needs to be impressive. For example, your CV may look something like this:
Beauty Therapist - Spa Holistic Center - June 2012 , … current day
1. Awarded retailer of the year in 2013
2. Developed a new customer care program for the spa in May 2014
3. Contributed to the successful launch of a new makeup range in Jan 2015
Great, you now have a list of great words which describe you plus a list of achievements from previous jobs.
References must always be professional - this means that you shouldn’t ask your mum, next door neighbour or best friend to write one. Ideally, ask your most recent employer to write 3 or 4 lines about why they would recommend you to a new employer. Also get them to mention one or two 'outstanding' things you did whilst you worked for them. Check they are happy for you to include these in your CV and to give their name and contact number. If for whatever reason you can't ask your most recent employer, ask any line manager you have worked for or college lecturer who trained you or even a colleague you worked with if they will help you create an outstanding CV and write you a reference.
4 Writing your CV.
You now have everything you need to write an award-winning CV. A recommended structure and layout looks something like this:
TITLE: CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
YOUR CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS (including mobile)
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
PERSONAL PROFILE (OR STATEMENT)
• Here use the words which positively describe you, such as 'I am a hardworking, committed therapist with a passion for delivering excellent treatments and a high level of customer service'.
• Highlight your number of years experience and mention some of the training you have received which may be relevant for the job you are applying for. For example: ' I have 5 years experience as a therapist in the spa industry and am fully trained in Thalgo, Elemis and Jessica.
• Outline the opportunity you are looking for in your next career move. For example: 'I am an ambitious individual looking for a senior therapist role in a holistic spa environment. I am seeking further responsibility and an opportunity to progress my management career'.
List your current and previous roles starting with the most recent.
Give the title of your role, the name of the company and the dates you started and left (month and year). The layout may look like this
Spa Manager The Ashes Hotel and Spa June 09 … Jul 12
Then write a brief outline of your responsibilities using only one or two sentences.
Next, bullet point your achievements within this role (your TOP 3)
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Summarize details of your education including qualifications
VTCT Beauty Therapy and Spa Management, CIBHT, 2007 … 2008
9 Honours in Leaving Cert, The local School, Dublin
Next, list all training courses attended including dates, for example:
St Tropez 2009
Elemis face and Body 2010
Date of Birth
You could add in here the things you enjoy doing in your spare time or some personal achievements you are proud of such as running a marathon; charity work; mountain climbing!
Give details of 2 references:
'I recommend Sally to a future employer because, ..'
Suzies Salon, High Street, Dublin
Tel: 01 -
Well that's it. Your CV is now complete and you are well on your way to landing an interview for your dream job. Good luck!