Unemployment rates might be low which suggests it's a good time to look for a job. But today's workforce is very mobile and people change jobs more often than ever before. That means there's still plenty of competition for great roles. A great CV is important as it helps get you past the first filter in the recruitment process.
Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand, says "Your CV gives a recruiter or hiring manager a factual and chronological snapshot of your skills and experience from which they can determine if you have the competencies required for the role and are suitable to interview. So to make the interview shortlist, you need a well-crafted CV".
Start with a professional summary at the top of your CV. That summary needs to be customised for each job application and matched to what the recruiters are looking for. Pick out keywords in the job ad and use those.
Where you can, back your skills and achievements with some data. If a project you led or app you created saved your employer money, try to quantify that and provide evidence.
Deligiannis also recommends you use strong action verbs and own your individual results and successes. Phrases such as “I was involved in” or “I assisted in” makes you sound like a bystander or bit-player.
Keeping your CV short is great for recruiters. Put the most important information near the top and keep things tight. Bullet points are more effective than sentences and try to keep the whole document to a single sheet of A4, printed on both sides.
Don't forget to keep your CV up to date. It probably only takes a few minutes a month to add your most recent achievements and experience and drop older items from the document. And make sure your online profiles are also up to date.