Whether you are trying to get your foot in the door or are already established, you will soon find that the publishing industry is very competitive—so you need give yourself the best chance possible of catching the attention of recruiters. Here are three ways to instantly improve your CV.
1 Make it relevant
If you are struggling to keep your CV to two pages because you’ve crammed in every skill, ability and qualification to your name, you’re doing more harm than good to your job applications. If it has large sections bursting with skills that aren’t mentioned in the job description, it’s worth cutting this irrelevant information—not necessarily completely, but to reduce the level of detail in order to expand on the skills that are sought for in the vacancy. That way you’ll show prospective employers why you’re a great fit for that role in particular.
For example, if you’re going for a production editor role in the STM sector, required skills might include project management, quality and accuracy and the ability to meet deadlines. If you have these skills, mention them in detail and hold off skills that are unrelated to the industry.
2 Use compelling language
Another way to instantly improve your CV is by using compelling language when explaining your experience and abilities. Your CV is essentially your very own sales brochure—so ensure it’s making the sell. Powerful, positive language is much more likely to engage your potential employer and make them believe you, too. Bring on the powerful verbs! So instead of ‘responsible for’, try ‘controlled’, ‘operated’, ‘orchestrated’, ‘oversaw’ or ‘championed’. Instead of ‘helped’, try ‘delivered’, ‘generated’, ‘yielded’ or ‘improved’. Instead of ‘managed’, try ‘mentored’, ‘supervised’, ‘taught’, ‘mediated’ or ‘moderated’. And make sure you watch out for spelling errors along the way. Nearly two thirds of job hunters
are reducing their chances of impressing employers due to sloppy spelling.
3 Focus on the appearance
Another very simple way to instantly improve your CV is by focusing on its appearance. You don’t have to follow Elle Wood’s footsteps by using pink paper and spritzing it in your signature perfume
, but some care to make your CV clean and polished is necessary.
Firstly, make sure it neatly fits onto two A4 pages. Lots of white space and widowed sentences are going to make your look CV unfinished. If you are struggling to make the content fit, alter the font size (although don’t go below size 10), tweak the subheadings and adjust the margins.
Secondly, ensure that the content of your CV is easy to read. Bullet points are the best way to go as they display key information clearly and concisely. With the average recruiter spending around six seconds on each CV
, you need to make sure your key info is displayed as plainly as possible.
And finally, pay particular attention to your name and contact details at the top of your CV. Remember that your CV is your marketing material, and your name should be treated as the title of the document. After all, you want the recruiter to remember your name, much like consumers remember the title of a book, so ensure it’s big and bold and not overshadowed by the dreaded words ‘curriculum vitae’ (which should never, ever appear on your CV).
Just remember to tweak and tailor your CV to every application and you’ll be landing interviews
in no time.