Whether an early career surveyor looking towards graduation, or an experienced professional interested in a new job role, searching for jobs can feel a little overwhelming. What makes a good CV for surveyors? How can you make yours stand out?
RICS Recruit asked Madeline Cooling, Managing Director at Aldwych Consulting for her insight on what employers engage with when looking at applicant CVs.
Here are her 5 top tips:
1. Be specific about the job you are applying for
Employers spend, on average, around 20 seconds looking at any one CV so it's important to be clear about why you are the right person for the role. Include any key words from the job description that your skillset covers such as management, innovation, collaboration or sector-specific surveying terms. Research the company and use the job advert to work out what skills you should point out to them. Focus on experiences that match what an employer wants and make your CV easy to evaluate.
2. Include a personal statement
Avoid assumptions. An employer may not see how your experience relates to their job so use the opportunity to make yourself memorable with a personal statement or cover letter. A short personal statement explains why you are the best person for the job. What experience have you got that matches the advert? Why do you want to work for this particular employer? Focus on what you have done that makes you stand out from other candidates by referring to any active subscriptions to sector-specific publications or CPD providers. Here, you can also add your out of work experience or memberships that may support your application, such as RICS membership status.
3. Explain your work history
If you’ve been out of work, put a positive spin on it. Did you do a course, volunteer work, or develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork, or project management? If so, put this on your CV. It is also helpful to refer to key things about your role that you have learned in previous jobs and why you are looking for your next role.
4. Pay attention to detail
Image is everything when it comes to your CV. Employers do look for mistakes and prefer CVs that can be read efficiently. Leave white space around text and between categories, use bullet points and keep sentences short where possible. Make use of the spellchecker in digital programmes or ask someone else to double-check what you've written before you send an application.
5. Make it keyword friendly
If you’ve uploaded your CV to a job site, keywords are very important. Job titles and job buzzwords will help a search engine pick out your CV from the pile. If you’re not sure, have a search online and see what words are commonly mentioned when you input your job title. Check for key terms used within the industry, particularly abbreviated ones.
Following these tips will ensure your application is memorable. By targeting the job specifications and remaining focused on what an employer has asked for, you'll be communicating that you care about your application progressing.
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