Your CV – 8.8 seconds to make an impact – is yours up to the job?

(and yes, it’s 8.8 seconds, NOT minutes, according to research from National Citizen Service (NCS) – recruiters are busy people!)

Whether you’re looking for that graduate job or summer work experience / internship, or preparing for applications next academic year (yes, it will be here before you know it!) many of you will be reviewing your CV and cover letter this summer.

Key points to remember include:

  • Target your CV (and cover letter) to the job you’re applying for – there’s no ‘one size fits all’ – recruiters need to see quickly (8.8 seconds) that you’ve got relevant skills and experience.
  • Make it easy to read. Long paragraphs take time to absorb – make it easier to pick up important information by using bullet points / short lines of text.
  • Clear headings and sections – use bold and larger font to make it easy to navigate your CV
  • No gaps in your time line – people get suspicious
  • Check spelling – poor spelling indicates lack of care and poor attention to detail and an impression that this job isn’t really important to you.
  • No untruths – your CV is not a confessional document, but everything in it must be true – employers can and do check out your information

Your Careers Service has resources aplenty to support you with your CV and cover letters – advice, examples and short videos – take a look now.

For yet more CV and cover letter support, HE careers site Prospects has just updated all its CV and cover letter advice and resources – check them out now.


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