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Kevin Brady on Eye-Catching CVs

27 June 2016
Besma Whayeb

Our Guide to Eye-Catching CVs | In Demand by AdView

Listen to AdView’s very own Kevin Brady on talkRADIO as he discusses what to put in your CV that will catch the attention of recruiters.

Below is the complete transcription of Kevin Brady’s latest appearence on talkRADIO which took place on 27th June 2016.

Paul Ross: And joining us now to discuss the UK job market and the future, it’s our Monday mate – Kevin Brady from AdView. Kevin good morning – what a fascinating weekend we’ve had of it.

Kevin Brady: Good morning Paul. What a week – tell me about it!

Paul Ross: This week let’s be positive, let’s talk about the future. Let’s talk about CV writing. We all know that writing a good CV is a key to getting an interview at the very least – what are your thoughts on that.

Kevin Brady: Firstly Paul, more than ever I’m sure people are looking at the jobs market at the moment, and secondly – with regards to a CV there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. That said there are do’s and don’ts that are generally accepted by professional CV writers and industry experts.

For example whilst there’s no hard and fast rules about formatting or how many pages you should use, it’s widely agreed that using a more professional looking font and structuring your past experience chronologically in date order with the most recent employment at the top is a must.

Paul Ross: So David Cameron should put: previous job – Prime Minister…?

Kevin Brady: Yes, I think so…

Paul Ross: Will do anything, good hands, but won’t work nude…

Kevin Brady: I’m not sure. Will there anyone left in the government at the end of the week Paul?

Paul Ross: It’s a bit like that isn’t it? Now I’ve got four daughters, one of whom’s coming back this week from Japan. She’s going to be looking for a job – but you go online though and there’s quite a lot of contradictory information they told me about CVs.

Kevin Brady: In what respect Paul?

Paul Ross: Well in the fact that people should, you know, actually stress things like voluntary work you’ve done, you should make a big thing of your hobbies other people say “no, employers may not even read that far down”. The important thing is, as you said, your record of employment.

Kevin Brady: The way I see it is there’s certain things you have to have on your CV. And some of them are really obvious Paul like your contact details: your name and address and so forth. I would suggest people put down a professional email address rather than a personal one.

Any sort of relevant educational qualifications etc should be included, but I always suggest Paul that if they’re not relevant to the job you’re applying for you should leave them out. Obviously include references as well. It’s also really important to highlight any work experience or internships or volunteering experience you have – because that is really attractive to employers.

Paul Ross: Earlier this month we talked about some of the difficulties faced by graduates finding work. How can people get that crucial first job with limited work experience or an internship. If they’ve only got that on their CV is there anything else they can bring to the party?

Kevin Brady: Well I would recommend for people who don’t have a lot of work experience, for whom it can be quite challenging to write a CV that’s two or three pages long, to write a skills-based CV. And that differs slightly from a traditional one.

So instead of putting your headlines detailing your past work experience – what I would recommend is putting down your skills. For example: teamwork, organisation, computing etc. This can be particularly useful for undergraduates – they can use the transferrable skills that they gained from university and add them to their skills-based CV which may attract an employer.

So it gives a lot more information about their character and what perhaps what they’ve been up to even though they don’t have a lot of work experience to add to that CV.

Paul Ross: And of course we live in a world of IT being more and more crucial, so I suppose if people have been involved in anything at college or university, or even school, which has involved setting up websites or whatever they should go big on that possibly?

Kevin Brady: Yeah it’s an interesting one Paul, because I agree that there’s many, many new ways to market yourself in the digital age we live in now. But for most people, and me included as well, I’d advise using the traditional CV and cover letter. I still think that’s the way to go. I mean things like video CVs and people who have websites and portfolios – that’s all really exciting, but if they’re not relevant to the job you’re applying for it could be overkill.

One thing I do think is fantastic is Linkedin, I think it’s slightly different to Facebook, it’s a bit more professional, and it can give a potential employer a bit more of an idea of what you did in the past prior to a job interview. And what we’re finding is – we’re finding that employers are looking at candidates online presence more than ever now, so I’d recommend people looking for work to keep their LinkedIn profiles up to date – particularly if they’re going for a sales job or a role in recruitment for instance.

Paul Ross: Well I must say – and it was a while ago now – when I was producing TV shows in particular, I used to get quite a lot of emails and they used to ping in and you don’t make time for them, whereas when I’d give myself 45 minutes to an hour to read the good old-fashioned post mail that came in.

And a number of people I interviewed – in fact two people I actually gave the job two – their first jobs on telly, was because they’d written, as you said, an actual covering letter which prompted me to read their CV and actually interview them.

Kevin Brady: Yes Paul, it can be very generic in that way. I always find – and I worked in recruitment for 20 years before I came to AdView – you have to really put yourself in the eyes of the recruiter because they may have hundreds of people applying for that actual position. Therefore you need to do something that slightly stands out like a cover letter that you make really personal that can give you the edge when looking for that ideal job.

Paul Ross: Kevin thank you very much for your time and expertise this morning, you can hear more from Kevin from around this same time next week. To register for daily updates or relevant jobs in your area – that’s if you’re looking for work, or if just trying to see what’s out there if you’re trying to see what’s out there if you’re thinking of changing paths, changing career, changing direction – head to AdView.