Time to dust off the CV? Is it up-to-date and relevant for the job you’re applying for? Here are some tips . . .
1. Take your time. Don’t rush it.
2. Make sure your CV is relevant.
3. Think about who is going to read your CV.
4. Use your transferable skills.
5. Keep it to two pages maximum.
6. Be concise.
7. Have multiple CVs, each relevant to the job you’re applying for.
1. Take your time and don’t rush it. You are selling yourself and you want to send the right impression. Don’t add fancy artwork. Keep it simple and ensure you use spellchecker!
2. Make it relevant. If you’re a pilot who is now applying for a job as a graphic designer, the terms FO, 3000hrs PIC on 737/A320, TRE/TRI, etc. won’t mean a thing to the person who will be sifting through CVs at a graphic design company. So use, "An experienced airline pilot with X years' experience." And avoid using aviation acronyms, unless it’s relevant.
3. So the first point of call is usually an HR sifter. Typically they speed read CVs looking for relevant experience required for the job, and if you’re lucky enough to be invited for an interview, the panel conducting the interview will then read it, again highlighting the relevant points.
So again, don’t put chapter and verse in your CV. The interview is a two-way meeting and your opportunity to sell yourself. Any additional points that you feel should be on your CV are your opportunity to tell the interview panel.
And, the person/people who will interview you are more than likely experts in the field you are applying for.
4. We all use abbreviations right? Well don’t if you’re applying for a job outside the aviation industry. You may as well be talking a foreign language if you start talking about APUs, MTOW and CTOTs.
Focus on communication skills, customer service, health and safety, IT skills, and think about what you can transfer from one industry to another. For example. cabin crew transferring to a chef includes hygiene standards, fire safety, being organised in a small working area, being able to think and act quickly, working in a pressurised environment (literally!) working long hours, etc.
5 & 6. Keep your CV as short and concise as possible. I once received a CV which was six pages long, and whilst the candidate had ticked all the boxes, I was nearly asleep by page 4. And that said something to me about the character of the person applying . . . zzz
So I’d suggest no more than two pages.
Name in bold, where you are from (just town and county - there’s no need to add your address as everyone uses email), contact phone number and email address (and no need to add your date of birth).
Follow this with a two or three-line punchy statement about you.
For example: A highly experienced customer service manager specialising in VIP transfers plus health & safety, security, and IT.
Flexible, dedicated and willing to travel.
BA (Hons) degree in XXX and trained by the British Butler Institute.
Those two or three lines are selling you to the interviewers, and, again, anything else you can promote at the interview.
Then detail your previous experience starting with your most recent position with your employer and from and to dates.
Bullet point it if necessary but keep it to the most relevant ‘saleable’ points in terms of job spec.
Don’t bother with part-time jobs when you were at university back in 1986, e.g. shelf stacker at Tesco. It’s irrelevant. Unless, of course, you’re applying for a job as a shelf stacker at Tesco!
If you have had a lot of previous jobs, again keep it concise with just a one-line statement of what you did.
Ensure your educational qualifications are added with your degree, A Levels, O Levels/GCSEs, in that order, and add if you are currently studying an Open University degree or an FAA Flight Dispatcher course.
Make sure you have at least two referees who can vouch for you. Ideally, one former employer and a personal contact.
And lastly, don’t lie on your CV! Don’t add an extra A Level in mechanical engineering that you don’t actually have if you’re applying for a job as an engineer. The chances are the interviewer will ask you a question, and you won’t be able to answer it! Game over! Be absolutely honest.
7. Have multiple CVs tailored around the specific jobs you're applying for.
Having been in aviation for 30+ years, I’ve got a bit of experience in many different areas. So, if I’m applying for a customer service role, I have a CV which details more of my experience in customer service. Likewise, my ground operations CV details more about my time as a dispatcher, load controller, airline ops, etc., and I have another CV for my sales and commercial experience, etc.
Again, take your time with them − don’t just copy and paste them. Go through and read them as if you were the interviewer or HR person receiving it from your application.
Once it’s been sent, it’s been sent, and there’s no going back, so it’s worth spending time checking.
Is it relevant to the job you’re applying for? Have you got all the points across?
And remember: sell yourself; don’t be shy but don’t be too over confident!
Out of date CV? No problem. Let us take a look to ensure it gets maximum attention on the recruiters desk!