How to Boost Your CV
Searching for a job is never easy, as there are plenty of hoops to jump through before you get an offer. A role in the teaching industry is no exception. In this blog post, we’re taking a look at your CV, or rather, you’re taking a look at your CV. Trust me, it’ll make sense in a minute.
A great CV requires hard work and a lot of research, but when it’s the difference between getting your dream job and remaining on the job market, you might as well put the work in. Many people struggle with their CV, so if you’re having trouble, don’t worry. We’re going to share 5 tips for sprucing up your CV, which should increase your chances in an ever-competitive field.
Cut Your Content
The maximum length of a traditional CV should be two pieces of A4 paper, so what should you trim? It can be difficult to decide, but generally, you should only include what an employer deems necessary. Typically, this is found on the job specification, though many people still hold on to out-of-date qualifications and experience from several years ago.
Congratulations on receiving an A* in your GCSEs, now remove it from your CV! Typically, employers only care about the number of GCSEs that you have, rather than the subject, so you could remove them to save space. You could simply mention your GCSE results in a single bullet point, rather than listing them by subject. For example like this:
11 GCSEs – This includes an A* grade in Maths, English and Science
Obviously, if this is your first application after Secondary School, you may want to go into more detail. The About Me section could be another area that needs cutting. Only include information that relates to the needs of your potential employer, and move any interests and hobbies to an ‘Additional Information’ section at the bottom of your CV. Again, you should relate these back to the advertised role. If it’s not related, take it out!
The Perfect Presentation
If you think about it, an employer could look through hundreds, maybe even thousands of CVs for a single role. If your CV doesn’t look good at first glance, it could end up in the rubbish pile. Unfortunately, the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ doesn’t apply here.
In that regard, you need to focus on the layout of your CV first, There are plenty of templates that you can use, or you may wish to create your own. As long as it looks pleasing on the eye, you should get past the initial vetting process. Ensure that your name and contact details are prominently visible and correct, else there’s no point in applying!
The next step involves the content. Make sure that the most important/relevant content comes first. Talk about your experience, provide examples and maintain a professional writing style. (However, certain roles require creativity, so make sure you research your chosen company beforehand. Resources like Glassdoor could prove useful.) Last but not least, check, double-check and triple-check your spelling and grammar. (Use Grammarly if you’re unsure!)
Now it’s Personal (Statement)
A personal statement (or cover letter) could make your CV stand out from the crowd, as it’s an opportunity to expand on experience and qualifications that are mentioned in your CV. Now, we should stress that this is usually not necessary to reach the interview stage, but it definitely does differentiate you from applicants that haven’t.
Within your personal statement, you should include your name and the job role that you’re applying for in the first paragraph. It should also encourage the reader to examine your CV, so a reference to a qualification could be beneficial. Use it to match your skills to the responsibilities that the job role requires, rather than just talking about yourself.
The job specification list is the best place to start. Highlight important points from that, and use your experience to prove that you can achieve them. Ideally, your personal statement should fit on one piece of A4 paper, so make sure to keep it concise and interesting.
Time for an Update
How often do you update your CV? If you only update it when you’re looking for a job, you may be doing it wrong. Chances are, you’ll gain new professional experiences every three months, so it’s advisable to update your CV four times a year, regardless of whether you’re looking for a new position.
Think about things that you’ve accomplished in the workplace, or training that you’ve completed. Talk about something that you’re happy with or something that challenged you. If you update your CV regularly, you won’t have to put as much work in when the time comes, making it easier to obtain a new position.
That’s not to say you should use the same CV for every application, as you should tailor it for the position. However, you could send your CVs out in bulk using a service such as Indeed or CV-Library, which could be beneficial for roles that allow quick submissions., or for roles that don’t require a personal statement.
Plug the Gaps with Volunteering
Employment history gaps aren’t great, as they may influence an employer’s decision to invite you for an interview. If you’re facing this problem, you might want to start volunteering. It could be in a charity shop or a local organisation, as long as you’re proving you ambition and dedication to work in some form.
Contact local businesses, look online, or pay a visit in person to ask about it. It doesn’t have to take up too much of your time either, as one day per week would look great over a period of time. As long as you’re doing something, as long as you’re developing yourself in some way, an employer will understand.
Do it is a great place to start, and your local council may list volunteering opportunities too. Remember, change only happens outside of your comfort zone, so put yourself out there and see what happens!
If you’re looking for a position in the teaching industry, we have several vacancies in London and the surrounding area. We hope our advice proves useful to you, and we wish you all the best on your job hunt.