Your CV has one purpose. It is to get you a job! This document should contain information that will allow employers to understand why you're the best fit for the job. However, this is easier said than done. Before you start drafting your CV, here are a few things you should consider.
Employers are using modern technologies to filter through job applications and narrow-down the number of candidates they will take into the next round of the recruitment process. This is called an "ATS" (Applicant Tracking System). To ensure that your job application actually gets to the front of the line, you need to understand how the ATS works.
The ATS scans your CV and cover letters for keywords that are set up specifically for the position that needs to be filled. Often, screening questions are included as part of the application process. Once your CV is screened, your application is then rated and algorithm sorts your application depending on how strong the rating is. Algorithm can change from one ATS to the other.
Though the ATS do most of the work, your application will still be screened by a person involved within the recruitment process such as recruiters or hiring managers. Needless to say, if your CV returns with a low rating then the chances of a person reading your CV would also be low.
To pass through the initial algorithm screening, it is important to use the right keywords relevant to the jobs you apply for on your CV.
Did you know that on an average, recruiters would read your CV for 30 seconds before moving on to the next application? You need to catch your readers (recruiter) attention within 30 seconds or less. This would be even faster for your most experienced recruiters. Ensuring you get the right details and present information without over cluttering your CV should be your priority.
So with these challenges present, how do you overcome these? Keep reading...
Start by addressing keywords in your CV that would reflect your knowledge of the role you are applying for. For most migrants it may just be because they are using a different term that what New Zealand businesses here use. (e.g. Compensation vs Remuneration).
Do you research by reading through job adverts carefully and take note of the terminology they use vs what you use in your CV.
Applying proper formats to each sections on your will help avoid confusing the ATS. Use common headers like Experience or Skills rather than "What I'm good at" or "What I do". This applies also apply to images. ATS would read through all text while images are ignored.
Older ATS will have troubles of using PDF formats. Avoid using 3rd party "Windows Office" like softwares as the ATS might not be able to read through the file format. Carefully read the job adverts CV and submit your CV in the required format.
Making sure that key information like skills, experience and capabilities are easily noticed in your CV. This may mean using proper formatting and re-arranging sections to ensure that recruiters would easily see the information they need.
Your CV isn't here to tell your readers about your whole life story. This document should contain what your recruiters need in order for them to make a decision if you are the right fit. You may need to have a good long look at your CV and take sections that aren't needed for the role. Go back to the job advert and carefully study the requirements.
A cover letter is a single-page A4 letter addressed to the person who advertised the position. It will be your personalised first point of contact with employers to get them interested in your CV and interviewing you.
Your cover letter can be a powerful tool sent with your CV to clearly state what you can offer to your potential employer. Its content should show:
On the other-hand, when used incorrectly, this can get your application ignored and might hurt your chances of applying with the employer in the future. Never send out a generic letter as this is one way to tell your employers that you are not genuinely excited for the opportunity and your just sending your resume out on every job listing in the job market.
Overall, your CV and Cover letter are an important part of your job application and it should never to be taken lightly. Having a generic approach to your job search will only get your time wasted and painful rejections. Have a professional take a look at your CV and get advice.
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