How to create a job-snaffling CV

Employers and HR Managers are busy people. That’s why Snaffle is here! Our technology allows employers to search and view only those profiles which match their fundamental criteria, saving valuable time sifting through irrelevant CV’s.

However, just because your profile has been purchased, this does not automatically mean you are guaranteed a job interview! You still have much to do in the way of convincing an employer that you are the right person for the job. It’s crucial to ensure your CV stands out, so we’ve included a few handy pointers to help secure that potential interview.

DO

Get the basics right: Employers usually spend only 15 to 20 seconds scanning a CV before deciding to read it more closely or bin it, so ensure it is well organised, professional, tidy - and spellchecked! Get your partner or a friend to check for grammar and spelling errors.

Keep it short and sweet: Cut your CV down to the essentials – two to three pages max. Even the most experienced job hunters fit their CV into a couple of pages.

Keep it organised: Organise your CV into sections including work experience, skills, achievements and qualifications. Keep the information to a bare minimum so that your CV can be scanned quickly and the key points stand out.

Include your contact details: Make sure you include a confidential (and professional-sounding) email address and/or phone number so the employer can get hold of you straight away. If you have a LinkedIn profile, include it here.

Be professional. Ensure your CV is typed, tidy, clean and well laid-out with a simple typeface. Use plain, simple language in a professional and business-like tone and include bullet points to make it easier to read.

Be confident. Be positive about your skills and achievements. It’s important to be positive about previous employers and open about why you left!

HANDY TIP:
Ensure your referees are current. Now’s a good time to check your referees are still happy to be included on your CV (which also ensures they’re not caught off-guard if they get a call).

DON'T

Give them a reason to bin your CV: Keep it professional, smart and uncluttered. Grammar and spelling errors tend to jump out at employers. An error-free CV can be the difference between an early disposal and undivided attention!

Use an inappropriate email address: Set up a professional-sounding email address, preferably including your full name.

Exaggerate: Although it’s tempting to exaggerate or embellish your skills or qualifications, remember that any employer or HR Manager worth his or her salary will double-check your background and references.

Waffle! You may feel that the more information you include the better, but employers need to quickly and easily scan your key skills, experience and qualifications to decide if you’re the right person for the job. 

HANDY TIP:
In New Zealand, there is no legal obligation to include your marital status, age, ethnicity, gender or the addresses of your referees. Nor do you have to include a photo legally (although employers do prefer to see a professional-looking photo).

How to create a great cover letter

A professional, articulate cover letter can really help you stand out from the crowd. It can make an employer interested enough to read your CV and call you for an interview. Here are a few tips to make it great:

Summarise your skills: Use the cover letter to provide a brief summary of why you’re qualified for the position, including a synopsis of your skills, qualifications and ambitions.

Keep it concise: Keep your cover letter short, professional and positive. Write a first draft, then edit and edit some more, until you’re saying as much as you can in just a few succinct paragraphs.

Check and double-check: Run a spell check and also get a friend or family member to ensure it is grammatically correct.

Download our free CV template.

Please note the CV template is a Word Document, which means you must save it to your computer before filling it out (or it won’t save). Then you can upload your completed CV to your Snaffle profile.

Tips for a favourable interview: 

In an interview, they will be wanting to get an idea of your personality and how you would fit into the companies’ culture. This is a fantastic opportunity to not only demonstrate why you suit the role, but to emphasise how you can add value to the organisation. Ask questions that target the employer’s expectations and what they are hoping to achieve. This shows that you want to grow in line with the business and are focused on working hard to assist the company in their goals.

Do some research about the company before your interview. This will allow you to ask more perceptive questions and avoid explaining something incorrectly or making an obvious mistake. For example, it would be useful to know if the company is expanding into new areas, their reputation and position within the industry and if they have spoken about their future plans.

Questions that are open ended (and not a straight yes or no answer) have the best chance of helping both you and your interviewer better understand how you could work together.

For instance:

  • How will my role fit into the company’s long-term strategy?
  • What criteria would a person who is “successful” in this role meet? How would their work be seen as productive?
  • How could this role be carried out so that it is as useful and supportive as possible?

If you emphasise that you want to help them in their role, and therefore help the company, you can appear more useful and determined. By understanding what they expect of you, you can be more clear of your role and how your performance will be measured.

Based on what you have heard, how do my personality and skills differ from those of an ideal candidate? And if so how could I improve?