The Small Things: Optimising Your CV for Job Boards

Job boards (like CV-Library and Reed) are fantastic for recruiter and jobseeker alike. They’re incredibly useful for multiple reasons: they’re the place to go to now if you’re looking for work, and they’re increasingly becoming the main place for a lot of companies and agencies to find candidates for their vacancies. Recruiters can search job boards for candidates based on keywords, salary, location and more. The job boards will return a list of CVs that might fit the bill based on the search criteria for the recruiter to read into.

With that in mind, how can you be sure that you’re found on a job board? It can be easy to get lost amongst the sea of other people’s CVs. If you feel that you’re not getting many calls from your CV, it might need a little bit of a tune-up. If only somebody could give you a couple of pointers on how to do that…

Job Boards Tune-Up #1: Your Experience

When it comes to your experience on your CV, there’s a lot of things that can change whether you come up in a recruiter’s search. However, the first thing to note is if your experience is actually ON your CV.

I’m not talking about job titles with dates. I mean a thorough description of

All of these things can be included in the criteria that recruiters search for. The same can also be said for ATSs – an ATS may not only be looking for the “Purchasing” in your “Purchasing Administrator” job title, it might also be looking for “import” experience in your job description. Don’t be afraid to use industry-specific jargon in your CV – it shows your knowledge.

Leave no stone unturned but keep it relatively to-the-point as well: an overly in-depth CV can be difficult to read once it’s been found.

The task of writing a CV is a daunting one - it's hard to gauge whether you've got it right for the Job Boards

Tune-Up #2: Your Qualifications

Now, this one can vary. But as a blanket statement, the easiest way to do this is to imagine how a recruiter would search for a qualification. I don’t know about you, but I would put my National Vocational Qualification (yeah that’s right, I’m flexing) down as an NVQ.

Like I said, this rule varies greatly: do you put your Bachelor of Arts down as a BA (Hons), B. A (Hons), B.A. (Hons), BA Hons or any of the other permutations? It’s a tough one to get right. Try them out and see if any of them seem to provide more attention. Even better, writing long and short form of a certificate or qualification such as ‘Bachelor of Arts (B.A (Hons)’ can help you to cover as many bases as possible.  Double whammy!

Tune-Up #3: Spelling

Yes, it goes without saying. No, I’m not saying you can’t spell. But if I’m searching for a “Graphic Designer” and your CV says that you’re a “Graphic Desinger”, I’m not going to find you. Equally so, national spellings differ: are you an “aluminium welder” or an “aluminium welder”?

I’ll keep this last one short and sweet: proof-read. If your CV is already up and wondering why you’re not getting many calls (or getting calls from stateside asking about your welding skills), it might be worth giving your CV the once-over to make sure there aren’t any typos.

(Oh, one last thing: if you want a few more tips on improving CVs and job applications, check out my first ever blog.)

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