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4 top tips to help make your CV stand out!

For most people, writing a CV isn't an easy job to get right.  You may think that you've done a great CV, but is it what hiring managers are really looking for?

There are many different ways a CV can be laid out but there are some simple tips to help make sure it gets noticed.

There are more people looking for work now than ever before, so standing out is key.  Here's some top tips from our expert consultants.

 

Make sure you take time to tailor your CV to each application

Tailoring a CV is a lot more than a 2 minute job. But if you take your time, the rewards will be worth it.  Whilst it may be tempting to get your CV in as quickly as possible, this may not always be the best option.

Here's our advice to make this an easier process.  Follow these simple steps to help make your next application your best yet.

  • Make sure that you have the job advert to hand.  Most answers to what the hiring manager is looking for should be in the ad.
  • Is there a list of desirable and essential skills?  Make it really easy for the hiring manager to see if you are suitable.  Create a grid format of your experience areas and include the number of years in each.  If this is at the beginning of your CV after your personal profile it will tempt the hiring manager to read more.  Don't make them have to search through your CV for what they are looking for
  • And finally - do your research!  Are there any particular pain points this sectors is experiencing at the moment.  Show that you know about that, even if you have no hands on experience.  However, you may have worked in a similar environment before.  You may have even identified and resolved similar pain points before.  Make sure that you showcase this.

Best CV tips

Perfect your CV elevator pitch

Did you know that decisions on CV's can be made in as little as 6 seconds!

You should always start your CV with a personal profile. Don't leave it out as its the first thing most people read.  You should be able to read your personal profile and get a really good overview of your skills and experience.  Our top tip when it comes to personal profile is to have a friend, or relative read it for you.  Someone who will be honest!

Getting someone else to give feedback on your CV is always a good idea.  Someone who knows you will know if you have sold yourself enough.  Are there skills that other people believe you have that your've not included?

 

Don't forget the basics

As silly as it may sound, it's easy to make simple mistakes on your CV.  When checking, you end up looking for the bigger things, but don't forget to check EVERYTHING!

Are your employment dates right?  Or, have you mistakenly put gaps in your CV - check!  If there are gaps in your CV anyway, then include this gap as if it were another job. Include the dates and if you can explain why you were unemployed and/or what you spent your time doing.  Maybe you were looking for work and also using the time to update your skills?  Don't leave anything to assumption - be open and honest.

Check the spelling, the formatting, the dates.  Literally check everything is right before you press send.  Don't let a silly mistake come between you and an interview.

 

Results not just responsibilities

This is one of the best ways to make your CV stand out!  Your excellent personal profile and skills grid has gained the interest of the hiring manager.  Don't lose it now!

Simply listing your responsibilities in each job doesn't show that you were good at them. It also doesn't help show which you were particularly good at.  Maybe there was an area you were strong in and were asked to mentor someone else?  Or, were you given additional responsibilities for a job well done?  Tell the story - highlight things like this on your CV.

For each role include an achievements section.  It doesn't have to be long, in fact, it can be just one thing.  Highlighting your achievements in each role will really support your application.  Having a job title means you were simply hired to do a job - achievements show that you were great at it!  Additionally, if you can link these achievements back to the job you are applying for then all the better!

 

Looking for Permanent or Contract work?

For positions across the spectrum of Facilities and Property Management, from junior roles to boardroom level, Catch 22 is here to help find that right job for you. We can provide advice on the whole jobfinding process and help you to present yourself in the best possible way to potential employers.

Can’t see anything you fancy on our current vacancies page? Just give us a call to discuss the sort of position you’re looking for and we will use our industry knowledge to help uncover those hard-to-find jobs that need exceptional candidates.


artificial intelligence

Ensure your CV gets past the AI recruitment robots with these tips

If you’re looking for a job these days, you need to know what an ATS is. It’s an applicant tracking system. Despite its very dull name, it’s a bot you need to know about so that you can stop it from filtering out your CV before it ever gets in front of a human being.

These artificial intelligence (AI) bots are working at a slightly more sophisticated level than simply scanning for keywords. They’re able to consider context as well (a bit like a Google search). But they can still be led in the right direction by applicants who know what they’re doing. The important thing is to ensure that the CV still makes sense to the human who reviews it, once it’s got past the bot.

Five hints for bot-proof CVs

1. Make the title big and bold
It should either state the position you want, or make a powerful statement about who you are and what you offer. Limit the text to about 20 words and use a larger font.

2. There’s still a place for keywords
Add a couple of bullet points near the beginning about your expertise. These should contain your most significant keywords. For a facilities management job, you could use those two words, followed by FM in brackets afterwards.

Next, use a “Skills and Attributes” or similar section, to cluster all the keywords that you want the bot to pick up, and the recruiter to focus on later. But remember that you may need to explain why you have included them - so don’t be random. Put your strongest words first, followed by any secondaries.

You can give the keywords some context by providing a couple of concise examples of projects or work achievements that demonstrate how you embody the keyword or have applied it to achieve success.

3. Ensure that you unpack acronyms
For example, if you’ve helped the organisation to redefine its KPIs, write “Key Performance Objectives (KPIs). Note - don’t use a comma before the final s!

4. Don’t overestimate the bot’s cleverness
For example, to a human it’s obvious that a cool graphic box with some focused text looks great. To a bot, this looks like a picture and it may just ignore the entire box. So don’t confuse the poor bot with one-off graphics or original layouts. It’s not that bright.

5. Beat the bot by networking with a recruiter
Recruiters know where the jobs are, when they’re coming up, who’s running the recruitment campaign and so on. It’s their job to gather this business intelligence, and if you’re canny, you’ll make sure that you exploit that by talking to a recruiter. It can save you an awful lot of time and help you focus your CV writing efforts so that you get the best results.

Not only that, but the recruiters know how the bots work, and can advise you if there are items on your CV that are causing it to get thrown out early on, in the automatic sifting.

That’s not something that any bot is going to do for you!


cv writing tips

The top steps to creating a perfect facilities CV

 

cv writing tips

So you want to move upwards and build your career in facilities management? The first thing you’ll need to do is put a great CV together, so you get through the sifting process that employers use to narrow down the field of candidates. So follow these 5 tips to impress the facilities management firm you’ve got your eye on.

1. Keep it short
Two pages are OK - but one is better. Apart from anything else, it shows that you can boil a lot of information down into the key points. You don’t need the full postal address of schools or colleges. If you get to the stage where references and qualifications are being checked, then you may need to supply the information. So the name of the school, college or employer, town and postcode are fine. This should keep the information to one line.

2. Use formatting to help readers scan and skim
Make sure that the information is presented in an organised format and aligned. This gives an impression of method and neatness and makes it easier for recruiters to quickly scan through the information.

In the same vein, before you press Send - make sure everything has been spell checked! Nothing gives a poorer impression than a CV full of errors, no matter how great your work experience or qualifications are.

3. Make it specific to the job or employer
If you’ve seen a job advertised for a maintenance manager, for example, and it asks for CVs, make sure your CV is angled to the specific post being advertised. Play up all the kinds of experience you have that makes you a great candidate for this kind of job. Don’t forget to include soft skills such as being good at motivating people, or having good organisational skills.

4. Use the personal statement to the good effect
One way to point out your relevant experience is in a short personal statement - and that means one paragraph. You might want to point out that your current post requires you to prioritise and set goals, and that this would help you to be effective in the post being advertised.

5. Be honest
Don’t make up experience you haven’t got. Even if being dishonest gets you a job, you may fail due to not having the right experience. Or you may be a huge success until the day the head of HR asks you to step into the office, to tell you that you’re sacked because your credentials don’t check out.

Similarly, if there are gaps in your CV, as long as you can explain them in a way that satisfies a potential employer, they needn’t be a deal-breaker. People often say that they took time out to travel, write a novel, try and make it in the music industry or whatever. Just don’t use one of these explanations to hide a difficult truth - it will almost certainly come out at some point.

Follow these guidelines and you’re ahead of the pack when the recruiter starts sifting through those CVs.