Our best points for personalising your keyword CV template:
- The summary/objective on your keyword CV is the most appropriate spot to grab your prospective employer’s eye by telling them exactly who you are and exactly what you’re seeking. This should be brief and snappy with the intention of enticing them to read more.
- If you have completed work experience that is particularly relevant to the position you’re applying for, supply more detail – no matter if it’s not your most current position.
- Take a little time to personalise your keyword CV for each role you apply for. Sure, it’s time consuming – but accentuating how you fulfill the person requirements will significantly boost your chances of clinching a job interview.
- It’s not an issue to incorporate a snapshot of yourself but why would you? Do you truly want your prospective employer to make judgements on your physical appearance, or wouldn’t you prefer that they met you and got to know the whole package? We have a natural inclination to form conclusions about peoples’ looks, and including a photo may lead your would-be employer to arrive at all kinds of conclusions about you. The safest option is to leave it off your keyword CV.
- Very long paragraphs make it frustrating for possible employers to identify the facts they are searching for. Keep everything simple and relevant. A keyword CV is perfect for this as it enables you to use short phrases that sum up your experience, abilities and skills.
- Potential employers are a lot less interested in the fact that you supervised a million pound marketing budget and much more interested in the results you realized. Even though your responsibilities are important, keep the focus on results where possible.
- If you mention your website or social profiles, see to it that these are ’employer-friendly’. Hundreds of photos of you out drinking are a certain turn-off for any potential employer.
- Be sure if you include a ‘hobbies’ section, the activities you mention are appealing from an employer’s perspective. As an example, exercise and sports hobbies are desired as they indicate you will be fit, healthy and unlikely to miss out on many work days. ‘Socialising’ – which implies ‘binge drinking’ – is not so desirable!
- Don’t be tempted to embellish – be genuine about your abilities. For instance, if you chose French while at school for your GCSEs, don’t claim to be fluent unless you honestly are. Your interviewer might be genuinely fluent, and this little white lie could cost you the position.
- Take care not to give your possible employer with a justification to discriminate against you before you get a foot through the door. Pointing out that you’re a newlywed (so from their viewpoint maybe children are on the cards) or noting that you have a number of children may be a turn-off, despite the fact that it shouldn’t be like that. Mentioning your age may also lead to potential discrimination, even if the potential employer isn’t going to admit it. There’s no need to place information like this on your CV and you need not be asked for such details in a job interview either.
- Don’t opt for friends as referees – select pro or academic. If you are not ready to add a reference (for instance, because it would have to be your present employer), just write ‘references available on request’.
Resources to help you complete your keyword CV:
- The best and worse words to use on your CV template (Forbes)
- How to word your CV for maximum effect (The Guardian)