How to Optimise Your Executive-Level CV for a Job Board

By Laura Slingo

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A job board is a website that hosts thousands of jobs on behalf of recruiters and employers. As a job hunter, you can browse these vacancies and apply for the role through that job board directly.

To apply for the position, you need to sign up with the job board and upload your CV. When you do so, your CV enters a database which recruiters and employers can search to find their next hire.

While some job boards are generalist, like CV-Library, others are niche, but all types are suitable if you’re at an executive level. It’s just a case of learning how to use them effectively.

If you’re an executive-level professional looking for a full-time job, here are some tips on optimising your CV for a job board, to boost your search.

Utilise keywords

As a rule of thumb in CV writing, your CV must be tailored to the job description, industry or company to make it clear that you’re suitable for the vacancy.

This advice is also applicable when uploading your CV to job boards for two reasons. For one, the CV you upload will be sent with every application, so it must show you’re suitable. In addition, your CV must be targeted with relevant keywords in order to show up in database searches.

Think of the CV database as a search engine. When a recruiter types in a specific search request, your CV has to match that request to pop up on the results page.

To ensure you include relevant keywords, work your way through the job description thoroughly and draw out common phrases and industry terms used in the candidate specifications or requirements.

Repeat them liberally, but don’t overuse them, throughout your CV. By mirroring the language used in the advert, you will show you’re a great fit and appear in more searches, increasing your chances of being headhunted.

Provide evidence of your skills and experience

When listing your skills and abilities, it’s important to support your claims with examples of use and success.

For example, you might have extensive experience in email marketing, but what does that really mean? Use numbers, facts and statistics wherever possible to show the prospective employer exactly what you achieved and the value you can bring to the role.

Quantifiable evidence, especially at an executive level, is sure to impress as it provides tangible reasons to invite you to an interview.

Make it user-friendly

Since your CV will be searched for and read on a screen, it needs to be as user-friendly as possible.

Start with the format. Split your sections into digestible chunks with headings, making use of the white space. The body of your CV can be anywhere from font sizes 10 to 12, whereas headings can be slightly larger. Also choose a plain, easy-to-read font such as Ariel or Calibri.

The industry-standard length of a CV is two pages. However, it can be extended to three if you have over a decade’s worth of experience – which is likely at executive-level.

You must keep your CV concise on job boards to make it as user-friendly as possible. If you’re struggling for space, skim down irrelevant roles and jobs over 10 years old to employment dates, job title, company and a line or two about what you did. Just don’t cut too much or you may present an unnecessary career gap.

When it comes to saving your CV, a .pdf file is always best. This means that your carefully formatted CV won’t adjust and recruiters should be able to open it in most programs. After all, you don’t want to waste a job opportunity simply for technological issues.

Optimising your CV for a job board is easy, mainly because it doesn’t involve a full re-write of your CV; just a few tweaks here are there that will pay off in the long run.

About the Author:

Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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