4 Important Things That Could Be Missing From Your CV
Creating a great CV is integral to grabbing the attention of a potential employer. You probably already know the standard items to include — contact details, education, work experience, and skills. You might have also read our article ‘CV or Resume Red Flags You Must Avoid’ and know what to steer clear of. These include not customising your CV for the position, not explaining employment gaps, or bad formatting and organisation.
However, there may be some things that you’re overlooking which could actually work in your favour. Here are some things you might not have known you could benefit from in your CV.
One of the most important things you could include in your CV are your references, which employers may use to verify the information you’ve written down. Employers may also contact them to ask questions about your character at work. This is why you should select references who you’ve had professional experiences working with, such as managers, employers, professors, or business partners who can speak well about your qualities.
While references are usually not required in the early stages of your application, if you do include them, LHH’s guide to creating a great CV outlines how you don’t have to use up space listing the contact details of each one. A simple line stating “Available on request” would do.
Including unpaid volunteer work can be an asset for you if the work that you did is in line with the values of the company you’re applying to, especially if they’re an NGO, charity, or nonprofit organisation. You should also include volunteer work if the experience is relevant to the job. As an example, you may have done work for your college’s publication and are now applying for a job at a publishing house.
HR News advises that you describe volunteer work as a paid job. They say “don’t tone down on your achievements because it’s a volunteer job and is unpaid. Instead, show the prospective employer how you impacted the organization’s project using active terms.” It’s also important to distinguish whether this volunteer work could actually fall under professional experiences. For example, you volunteered as a doctor for nonprofits.
If you’ve taken online courses relevant to the job you’re applying for, then they should be in your resume. This is particularly true if they provide training for relevant and in-demand skills in the field. For instance, you may be a data analyst with a certificate from a Google Data Analytics course that employers might benefit from. Ultimately, online courses in your CV are a great way to demonstrate your commitment to development and can distinguish you from other candidates.
Make sure to only include courses if they’re relevant. If you’re going to place it under your education section, then it should remain below your highest educational attainment. Otherwise, you could put online courses in an entirely new section.
Social media accounts or professional websites
If you are posting your work on your social media pages and your websites, then it would be a good idea to include them in your CV. This is especially true if you’re engaging in thought leadership or are in a creative field, as you can share your portfolio online. Doing so provides hiring managers insight not only about your work, but also your personality.
Only include social media and websites that are relevant to your job. As a standard, LinkedIn should always be there. However, platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook should be omitted if they only contain personal matters. Nevertheless, personal accounts should be kept work-appropriate as Business News Daily reports that 70% of employers believe that social media should be screened during the hiring process.
Creating your CV includes a lot of tweaking and adjustment, but if you have unique items to include, then they may help you stand out better to hiring managers. This helps you make the most of your experiences, especially when you know how to properly leverage them to benefit your CV.