There was plenty of change to CV requirements in 2022 and the ideal CV will continue to evolve in 2023 as recruiters get more and more savvy and particularly in terms of what they are looking for in the perfect candidate.
The biggest single change in a New Zealand CV in the last year or so was the size the CV document was expected to be. If your CV can be contained on just two pages then you will really impress the recruiter. You will immediately demonstrate to them your ability to get all your information across in a clear and concise manner.
Three pages is still perfectly acceptable (but only if needed to highlight skills, achievements, working background or qualifications). As CV writers we probably have completed 80-85% of all new CV’s on two pages over the last year and the feedback from recruiters, to our customers, has been overwhelmingly positive. Two pages makes the recruiters job easier and they are the one the job hunter needs to impress, no-one else.
Recruiters are now looking more and more for specific reasons an applicant may be suitable for their role. The skills and achievements sections are the places they are wanting to read early on to see if your CV is highlighting to them how you meet all their person specifications. Often CV’s only provide generic skills and make little or no mention of your work achievements.
Work achievements (or in some cases qualifications) are what potentially makes you stand out. If you use the example of a sales manager, two applicants will potentially show the same types of day to day tasks as they will be general role requirements. However, if one of the two applicants makes no mention of any achievements but the other applicant details that they were sales manager of the year for three years running and/or exceeded targets by 48% in 2021 and $31% in 2020 then you can imagine which CV is more likely to get more favourable attention.
Your skills also need to be very clear and written specifically in terms of the type of role sought. For example, there is no point stating you are an expert bus driver if you applying for an accountant role. In that example you would instead by detailing educational qualifications, memberships, accounting software used, specific accounting competencies.
So, three extremely important aspects to an ideal CV in 2023 are ensuring is on two (or three) pages and that you show specific skills that will assist you to do the job being applied for and thirdly showing some key achievements.
Other than this please try to keep the tasks per role to 4-6 (ie stick to the most important tasks rather than showing something more like a job description). Also, ensure your CV creates a nice first impression, is professional looking and has no spelling or grammatical errors.
Keep qualification information to the most relevant ie a half day customer service course will not assist greatly. Keep the information more up to date too as showing a word processing course in 1990 is not going to gain you any merit points.
Keep your CV professional, brief and highly relevant to the job being applied for and you will immediately get a good jump start over any other applicants.