Advice on building a stand out CV when applying for jobs

Members of team Fight for Peace have been sharing their Top Tips and Tricks as part of an initiative aimed at supporting young people to gain skills and know how to progress in their careers. This forms part of Fight for Peace’s wider Employability Pillar, one of the Five Pillars that inform our approach to supporting young people to reach their full potential.

With support from SEGRO, via London Community Foundation, a conversational employment video has been produced featuring Fight for Peace young people, past members, and staff who share their knowledge and experience on navigating the job market. This video recently launched on Fight for Peace’s YouTube channel, while bitesize clips have also been appearing weekly on our Instagram page.

The first subject covered in the feature video explored where to start when looking for a job (check out our article here to hear what was discussed), while the second area honed in on creating a CV guaranteed to get you noticed. 

The first tip on CV’s was short and to the point, but definitely not one to ignore: “Don’t lie”, implores Deji – one of those sharing knowledge.

“Some employers do extensive research, especially if they are interested in hiring you”, he explains. “You don’t want to be fumbling in the interview when they find out that you have lied about your qualifications or about stuff that you have done!”

For Jonea, another contributor in the video, the small things count when it comes to nailing a CV: “I would do simple things like check the structure of my CV or grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Little things like that is what [employers] look at.”

Chanel, meanwhile, agrees that simplicity and being concise is key to getting the message of your CV across: “Don’t over exaggerate to where you are writing paragraphs upon paragraphs, because you are not going to get your CV read.” 

The importance of how to structure your CV came across strongly from several of the contributors on the video.

Kenny underlined the importance of having a CV that relates to the specific job that is being applied for, and adjusting the application accordingly each time. “You have to be ready and able to tailor your CV every time,” he explained, “and the reason I say that is because every job is different and every company is asking for something different.” 

“I work backwards, so I would never start with a blank piece of paper. I would look at a template, or I work from a job description.”

Deji uses a similar approach: “First of all have a template of a CV which has what you have done, your job experiences, qualifications, and a nice short personal statement about yourself. As you go through different application processes, cater it to what you are applying for,” he shared.

And he added that using certain terms that resonate with employers can help your CV succeed: “Use buzz words like communication, leadership skills, timekeeping and attention to detail.” 

Both Deji and Kenny were keen to point out that having a bit of intrigue come across in your CV can support your chances of getting a job and help sell yourself. “You want your employer to think ‘who’s this?’,” said Kenny.

Similarly, Deji likes to create this little bit of mystique: “Me personally, I like to leave people on the edge a little bit. Be explanatory but hold back from being too explanatory. This gives [employers] a point of questioning when they are at the interview.”

CVs are a crucial element in any job search, and the advice shared by all of the contributors on this employment video forms an excellent basis for helping us take the first vital step in getting the job we are after. 

A big shout out to all of those who featured in the video and shared their wisdom, as well as everyone behind the scenes who produced such a slick production. And once again thank you to SEGRO, via London Community Foundation for their invaluable support to this initiative.

You can watch the full employment video here on our Fight for Peace YouTube channel and you can also check out the bitesize clips on our Instagram feed. Any young person wishing to get support with anything employment related can also get in touch with us via our Employability Coordinator Jhnique

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