<strong>LINDA JACKSON</strong><br />MANAGING DIRECOR, FAIRPLACE<br /><br /><strong>After three years in my current role, I want to start looking for my next job. I’m a bit worried that my experience looks light on my CV though. How can I make sure my CV is competitive?</strong><br /><br />IF your experience is a bit light, you can still break down the skills you have and the tasks you’ve carried out, and show what you’ve accomplished – that’s actually more important. People make the mistake of making CVs look like a list of jobs they’ve done, which makes a lack of experience obvious.<br /><br />But in that case, your CV will have failed anyway, because the important thing is to show the impact you’ve done had. If you’ve had a responsibility, how were you successful? If you’ve done a project, show what its effect was.<br /><br />You absolutely must not lie on a CV, but you don’t have to be brutally honest either. Remember this is a sales document, and its job is to get you an interview rather than a job. Also remember that you must tailor it each time you apply for a role – like any sales document, being generic just doesn’t sell. Think of the role you’re going for, and pick and choose the things you want to project.<br /><br />Typically, people who make decisions about CVs make them very quickly, so the most important information needs to be on the first half page. And don’t think a CV has to be long to be impressive – two pages are enough. There’s no point extending it with long details of your hobbies, they won’t be deal-breakers.<br /><br />They will be used to make judgements on your character in interview though, so if you say you enjoy going to the theatre, make sure you’ve been recently.<br /><br />When you’ve finished it, carry out the “so what?” test – read the CV through and make sure each piece of information is quantified, relevant and answers that question.<br /><br />One more tip: always send your CV as a PDF rather than a word document, since someone else’s computer can mess up all your careful formatting.