How to make sure your CV sizzles

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Your CV is a selling tool. Just as a brilliant advertisement can persuade a consumer to make a purchase, so a skilfully crafted CV can secure a job interview.

"Your CV should outline your skills and experience so an employer can see at a glance how you can contribute to the company's success,' says Tasneem Mohamed, marketing manager of the Landelahni Recruitment Group. "Make sure it does you justice by highlighting your strong points.'

The first step is to create a "standard CV template - that contains comprehensive information and outlines all your major accomplishments, work experience, skills and qualifications. "This standard template will be the source document for crafting a CV specific to each job you apply for,' says Mohamed.

"It's not particularly effective to use your CV in a "spray and pray approach to applying for a job. Rather customise your resume for each specific position. Focus on the employer's job description and organise your skills and experience around these points.'

"This immediately draws the attention of the recruiter to your competence against specific job requirements. Ask the question: How well does the resume capture my unique competitive edge for this job?'

Here are some tips to help you craft your CV in the most compelling way:

Update the look: A clean modern design will draw attention to specific accomplishments so a prospective employer can see at a glance what's important.
Track record: Make a good first impression. Kick-off with a brief summary of your abilities and accomplishments and highlight your career successes.
Skills profile: Draw attention to the key strengths and competencies that meet the requirements of the job you are applying for.
Education: Begin with your highest qualification first, and stick to major milestones.
Experience: Start with your current position and then previous positions in date order.
Highlight your achievements and use examples to prove your claim.
Keep your CV short - two-to--three pages at the most.
Make sure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors in your CV. You have only a few seconds to make the right impression, so don't risk losing out through a few careless typos.

"Social media provide recruiters with access to a great deal of information about candidates, so ensure that you use social media tools effectively,' says Mohamed. "Create an online resume on Facebook or LinkedIn that reflects your skills, competence and experience so it will reinforce your job search.

"Your covering letter should strengthen your application. Use it to succinctly "pitch for the job. Draw attention to the main reason why you would be the best person to hire. The covering letter is part of the package that should sell you at first glance.'

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