Did you know that the average recruiter will spend just six seconds looking at your resume? This tiny time-slot means it’s crucial to have a CV that stands out from the crowd and quickly communicates why you’re the best fit for the role in question.
Whether you’re a dental graduate applying for your very first role or a dentist considering a new position, there are certain 'CV best practices’ that apply across the board and will help you ensure your resume gets noticed for all the right reasons.
Before you hit ‘Send’ on your next job application, check out our top tips for CV success.
Let’s start with the basics. No matter how impressive your experience may be, you won’t get far if you don’t include these all-important essentials on your resume. Here’s a rundown of what every CV should include:
● Name and contact details
Your full name and contact details should be displayed at the top of your CV, including your phone number and email address. It’s also useful to include your location, so potential employers can easily see where you’re based.
● Personal summary
This section gives you an opportunity to summarise who you are and why you’re the ideal fit for the role. Keep it brief (3 - 4 sentences), but be sure to include the unique qualities that set you apart from other candidates. It’s also important to personalise your summary to fit the position you’re applying for.
● Key skills
Here you can provide a bullet-pointed list of your core capabilities, so potential employers can instantly see what key attributes you offer. Aim to include 4 - 5 skills.
● Education and training
Start with your most recent qualification and work backwards. Make this section easy to scan by using bold text to highlight the years you started and finished, the name of the institution, and the title of the course.
● Professional experience
Again, start with your most recent role before listing your previous experience in reverse chronological order. Clearly outline the responsibilities of each role, taking care to make this as relevant as possible to the position you’re applying for.
While the thought of having to personalise your resume for every job you apply for might seem like a time-consuming chore, making the effort to tailor your CV can be a key factor in positioning you as the best candidate for the role.
Take a close look at the specific criteria of the role listed in the job description, then tailor your skills and experience so they align with the required capabilities wherever possible. Using language and terminology that fits with the type of role and company you’re applying for can also help to position you as a suitable candidate.
Finding ways to set yourself apart from other applicants can help you catch the eye of potential employers. Your CV is your chance to really sell yourself, so be sure to showcase any unique skills or particular strengths that make you an ideal fit for the role.
As with the previous point, tailoring your CV to the position you’re applying for will allow you to highlight your most relevant capabilities and demonstrate your suitability in relation to this particular job. Be sure to include any achievements and awards you’ve accomplished, as this can help you gain valuable extra points in the eyes of a potential employer.
Although your skills and experience are more important than how your resume looks, it definitely pays to spend some time ensuring your CV is presented in a visually appealing way. The key here is to make it as clear as possible, using consistent formatting to ensure the contents of your resume are easy to read.
Use legible fonts and include features such as bolded headings and bullet points to keep everything neatly structured and simple to scan. As for the length, 2 - 3 pages is generally the CV sweet spot.
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