CV Writing……..

A good CV is still essential. Read on to find out Steele Dixon’s top tips for getting it right first time.

We recently received a 9 page CV, every page was a photocopy and saved as a separate file.  It was illegible and unusable.  Apparently, it was the only way it could be done.  We didn’t contact this person again. 

How is it that people are making such fundamental mistakes in the automotive job market?  Your CV is by far the most important tool in any job application.   There is no reason for getting it wrong.

The 9 page CV got us thinking….again…..about what not to do on your CV.  We’ve been giving CV advice to the automotive industry since the dawn of Steele-Dixon; we wrote our first guide to writing a CV way back in 1979.  Not much has really changed so here are our top tips 43 years on…..

Did you know the first ever CV written was by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1482. Bridge building, rock flinging and sculpture were listed as his top skills.

  • Keep it short

Recruiters and employers spend on average 10-15 seconds reading a CV so make sure you fit everything you need to say into no more than 2/3 pages. 

  • Save on the detail

No one needs to know everything you did and achieved in all your roles.  This is specific information you can bring up at interview stage.  A summary of the company (not just their name) and your responsibilities and highlights is sufficient.

  • Stick to the facts

Include as much statistical data as possible.  Future employers will want to know this eg how many people did you manage, what profit did you make, what did you save the company, how many cars did you sell etc.

  • Be relevant

Tailor your CV to each job application.  Your CV will need small adaptations according to which roles you apply for. 

  • Current role first

Yes, where it all began is interesting but employers and recruiters want to know what you are doing now. 

  • Clear and consistent design

You can find masses of basic templates on line.  Don’t complicate it, don’t fill the page with columns and rows and too much text.  Don’t include pictures or logos.  You don’t need to make it pretty.

  • Include Linkedin profile

Make sure your CV and Linkedin profile are consistent – as with all other CV databases you subscribe to.

  • Take pride in it

First impressions count.  Make an effort and it will pay off.

And for balance here are some definite Don’ts (unbelievably we still see these mistakes made over and over again)….

75% of CVs are rejected due to an unprofessional email address. If you have an ‘amusing’ personal email address, set up a new one for job applications.

  • Do not lie or stretch the truth
  • Don’t copy and paste – the font, layout and design should be consistent throughout.
  • Don’t forget to change the text in previous jobs so it reads as in the past
  • Do not let yourself down with bad spelling or grammar.

And finally don’t stress about it – this is just you writing about you.  No one else can do it better.  If you’re struggling, call Steele-Dixon Automotive Recruitment and we can help you get it right.

Your CV is your sales pitch so do it well.

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