Finding your ideal role

Tips for writing a great CV

In order to make the shortlist, your CV must meet most or all of the criteria in the position description. If your credentials are appropriate for the position to which you are applying, here are our tips to make sure your CV stands out.

Contact Details
Obviously you need to include such basic information as your name, address, telephone numbers, date of birth, email address (make sure the e-mail address you use appears professional - is not appropriate) and your LinkedIn profile URL.
Professional Summary
Ensure the first area at the top of your resume is a "summary of experience" and includes specific applicable experience as opposed to generalities. Consider using words from the job description to highlight why you are suitable for the role. This area of your CV should be designed to prove your value proposition and differentiate you from your competition — and shouldn’t list objectives.
Career Objective
Note your career objective back to the job applied for to give an indication of what you are looking for in your next career move, with an overview of your key achievements.
Work Experience
This should be listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent. Include employer names, positions held and primary responsibilities. Use language like “managed” or “oversaw” as recruiters and hiring managers react better to this terminology. Quantify your accomplishments where possible. We advise you not to leave gaps in your CV. If you took a year out, carried out an interim assignment, or travelled for six months, say so. If you do include gaps, potential employers can suspect the worst. Stating the years, rather than the months you started or finished a role can also set off alarm bells. Writing "2014 - 2015" could be interpreted as employment from December 2014 to January 2015 unless you say otherwise.
Education & Qualifications
Keep it concise by listing the qualification obtained, year it was completed and the school, college or university you studied through.
It is also important to include details of two references, such as former employers. If you are a graduate with no work history, include details of a former lecturer.
Would your job search benefit from an online portfolio?

Should you create a website to profile your work when job hunting? It’s a question we are increasingly asked by jobseekers, and the simple answer is that it depends on your industry. Creating a website allows you to showcase digital examples of your work, which naturally suggests this approach is best suited to candidates looking for a job in a creative industry such as video production, graphic design or journalism.

If you do create a website for job hunting purposes, make sure you keep every aspect of it professional. Remember it needs to showcase your professional side not your personal life. We suggest you showcase the strongest examples of your work. After all, this is your chance to demonstrate what you can do and what you can offer an potential employer. Outside the creative industries, employers rarely request or expect an applicant to have their own website. Instead, it is more important to have a LinkedIn profile, connect with companies, recruiters and industry leaders, and be active in LinkedIn groups by liking, sharing and posting content relevant to your profession.

A thought on social media

When you are job searching it’s also important to adjust your security settings on your personal social media so only your private network can see your updates. It’s also a good idea to check privacy settings regularly so you know what’s going public in your name.

Working with a recruitment consultant

We thought it might be helpful for you to know how to maximise the benefits of using a recruitment consultant. Our job to find the best person for each role, but by partnering with a recruiting expert you will have someone who will promote your strengths and expertise to potential employers. Recruitment is a people business, so we’re passionate about creating valuable relationships with everyone we work with. We want to find you a job that you love, one that fits with your goals and objectives and ticks as many boxes for you as possible. We pride (and measure) ourselves on great service, because one day you might be looking again, and we want it to be Aspire that you contact!

Sometimes we make our job look easy, but our expert recruiters invest many hours in building relationships with employers so that when they are thinking of hiring, they call us. We work hard to find out who the best candidates are on the market, and who will be the best fit for their organisation and the role. We make a point of getting to know our clients, so as well as promoting you to potential employers, we can give you advice on what it’s like to work at the organisation you’re applying for and the type of questions you are likely to be asked in the interview.

Insights gained from our research provides us with an in-depth knowledge of the type of salary you can expect from a new role and we can also provide advice on what you need to do in order to secure higher remuneration.

We understand the importance of social media in your job search and can advise you on your personal brand and online profile so that you can make a good impression on a prospective employer. In addition, our unique relationship with LinkedIn allows us to further access the platform so that we can connect millions of people globally with relevant job opportunities, materials and employment-related content. This can be of great value when it comes to your career advancement.

On meeting with you, your consultant will give you feedback on your interview technique and CV layout. It is our role to ensure you have all of the information about a role to enable you to decide whether you are interested in it. If you are, you will be provided with thorough details regarding both the position and the company to ensure you have the best chance of securing the role. If you have not been to an interview for a long period of time, we provide pre-interview coaching to improve your chances.

If you are not the successful candidate, we will give you feedback from the company as to why you didn't get the job so that you know what to work on for next time. If you are selected for the role, then we will negotiate to secure you the package you are after without jeopardising the offer of employment.

Developing a partnership

We are here to guide and assist you and the better we understand your career objectives the more likely we are to be able to help you achieve them. Therefore, we want to collaborate with you to get the best results possible. Keep us informed as to which jobs appeal and which do not. Never go on an interview to make us happy - go only if you are interested in the role. Let us know your honest salary and benefit expectations throughout the negotiation process so we can ensure there is no misunderstanding when we speak to employers.

We are available for your initial interview between 8.30 am – 5.00pm, Monday - Friday. If you require an evening or weekend appointment, or you simply want to meet for a coffee, then just let us know.

By building a trusting relationship with us, we can tell your story to potential companies, and will advise you of every role before your resume is submitted (unless you have agreed otherwise). You can be sure that your current employer will not find out about your job search through us. No reference check would be taken up with them until you advise us we are able to do so. If you are unsure about leaving your current job we are more than happy to discuss the types of roles which are available. You should not book a whole interview slot, but instead request a discussion during which we can assist you in determining whether you are better off moving or staying where you are. Above all we are passionate about people and our enthusiasm compels us to match the right person to the right job. We believe this is fundamental to improving lives and helping people become all they can be.

We look forward to working with you to help you achieve your full potential. Start your journey here by sending us your CV, or browse our current vacancies.