By John Dyson, Director, Robert Half UK

It’s no secret that today’s job market is extremely challenging, and it may seem increasingly difficult for you to get a potential employer’s attention. Below are some pointers on how to move your CV to the top of the pile:

Should I just update my old CV?

It can be tempting to simply pull out the last CV you used, however, it is likely that some of the content could be outdated. At the very least, give your CV a thorough review and strip out any information that is not applicable to your current career goals.

What do I need to focus on?

Companies today are focusing more than ever on candidates who can demonstrate that they will help a potential employer to reduce expenses and increase efficiencies. When detailing the positions you’ve held in the past, point out specific accomplishments in your career and quantify them, for example include numbers, percentages or actual pound savings relating to how, in previous roles, you streamlined processes, or identified efficiencies that resulted in cost reductions.

Do I make it personal?

One of the most important steps when crafting your CV is to target your content to each company and position. Customise your CV so it speaks directly to a potential employer’s unique needs. This might take a little extra time and effort, but submitting a targeted CV demonstrates your knowledge and interest of each position and will help you stand apart from other job candidates.

Is proof reading important?

A survey by Robert Half has shown that 84 percent of executives questioned said it takes just one or two typographical errors on a CV to remove a candidate from contention for an open position. Employers see typos, misspellings and grammatical mistakes as a sign you lack professionalism and attention to detail. And in today’s environment, hiring managers are much less willing to take a chance on applicants who seem unqualified. Try something as simple as using the spell-check function or asking friends and family to proof read the document before you send it out.

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