Boost your employability without breaking the bank. The job market can be incredibly tough, with employers asking more of candidates and expecting higher quality CVs and skill sets than ever before.
Here are five top tips for improving the look and content of your CV, securing interviews and attracting the attention of top employers.
Optimise your CV for keyword tracking
AI and SEO have invaded almost every part of our lives, and job applications are no exception. It’s estimated that up to 95% of Fortune 500 companies currently use an ATS (applicant tracking system) to manage their recruitment. An ATS is a form of software which helps companies track their recruitment and make the hiring process easier.
Some of these systems are set up to compare CVs to job descriptions automatically. Unfortunately, your resume might not even pass this part of the process if the ATS thinks your resume doesn’t meet the right criteria.
When applying for job roles at these big organisations, pay attention to the keywords and language used in the role descriptions. Make sure to include these keywords and key phrases to improve your chances of your CV being highlighted by an ATS and passed on to a human being!
Strong CV design
It’s no longer enough to create your CV in a standard word document and send it off. With competition for jobs getting steeper, creating an attractive and eye-catching CV can help you stand out from other candidates.
There are plenty of sites you can use to design your CV. For example, on Canva you can choose from hundreds of free templates which you can then add your own content, images and qualifications into. Don’t go overboard with the design features though. A bit of colour and interesting design features are perfect, but you don’t want to overwhelm the person reading your CV with an overly elaborate design which also might take too long to download.
A lot of employers advocate for the one page CV, so if you’re able to fit all your experience and achievements on to one page then this can also stand you in good stead. Hiring managers could be sifting through hundreds of applications for a role, so having a succinct and attractive CV not only looks better but saves them time when reading through.
Free online courses
There are thousands of online courses you can take to improve your employability, no matter what industry you’re hoping to work in. With sites like Future Learn, Skillshare and LinkedIn Learning, you can access professional taught courses in many different subjects.
You can learn everything from how to create a successful social media campaign to how to write an amazing press release for your business. Lots of these courses will send you a certificate after you complete them, which you can display on your LinkedIn or add to your CV.
Some courses require a subscription, but if you don’t want to pay there are lots of free options. The courses vary in length, some last for three weeks and others take only three hours to complete, so there’s an option for everyone no matter how little free time you have.
If you want to build your skillset even more, you might consider hiring a private tutor. Tutors aren’t just for students taking exams, they also support many adult learners with their continuous professional development.
On the teaching platform Tutor House, you can find tutors for a range of different subjects, such as Management, Economics and Foreign Languages. You might want to improve your business acumen, learn some new marketing skills or pick up a new language to improve your CV.
Private tutors are industry professionals and degree-educated in their chosen subject. They’ll often have worked in the field and will be able to offer you expert advice and give you a real insight into the career you’re hoping to go into.
Voluntary work is one of the best ways to improve your CV by getting hands on experience. For example, if you’re hoping to become a marketer it’s a great idea to reach out to small businesses and ask to do some voluntary marketing for them.
Of course, most people aren’t able to afford to work voluntarily full time but doing a couple of hours a week is a great way to build experience and have some tangible examples to put on your resume. This could also open up doors to full time paid roles at the company you’re volunteering for. Managers like hiring people they’ve worked with before, who they know care about the business and will work hard. By volunteering, you’re building a valuable network of potential employers.