Every job you apply for will have hundreds or maybe even thousands of competing candidates, and everyone will have a CV. Against this competition, every edge counts and having a strong CV is the sharpest edge.
What makes a CV strong? There are two kinds of strength. The first is something you can’t do anything about – your experience and qualifications. The second is something you can do about – how you present information and sell yourself.
The biggest mistake people make when creating a CV is neglecting the importance of references. References are gold because they back up everything you write. However, you need to do more than just list your references!
Using AutoRefs to strengthen your CV
AutoRefs is a cloud-based reference checking platform that compiles references for you automatically.
We recently released a new feature that allows you to request references from referees, so you can include them in your CV.
You can include references in your CV by printing them or providing a link that the company can use to view your references online.
This simple tweak to your CV – providing ready-made references – saves a company time and provides proof that you are a great candidate.
There’s also another powerful side to providing ready-made references – you can strengthen an otherwise average or weak CV. If your CV lacks experience or qualifications, your references could pick up the slack and get you hired.
Reversing the job application process
Most companies interview first and get references afterwards. What if we reversed that process so a company has social proof, to begin with?
It’s easy to see how this simple tweak could land you an interview you wouldn’t otherwise get if your references are fantastic.
By applying for a job with references ready-made to accompany your CV, you also show strong ambition and save the company a lot of time.
Of course, the company can request more references if they like, and you can make it easy by using AutoRefs, reducing the time it takes to get them.
How to use AutoRefs to get references
You can sign up to AutoRefs for free. Here’s how to do it:
- Head to this page
- Click “sign up”
- Select “Sign up as Candidate”
- Enter your personal credentials
You will then be taken to your online account. From here:
- Navigate to “Profile Questions”
- Create a list of questions for referees to answer. Once you have created all the questions, proceed to the next step.
- Select “Request” from the menu
- Enter the referee’s details
- Click “Send request”
The referee will then receive an instant email to the email address you specified requesting a reference. You can monitor progress in the ‘Referees’ tab.
Once you receive your references, you can include them in your CV as a link or print them. We recommend using both options.
Question profiles in more detail
One of the powerful features of AutoRefs is you have full control over the questions referees answer, letting you fine-tune the nature of the reference. We let you select from a series of default questions or create custom questions.
Default question examples:
- What are some of the candidate’s strengths?
- What are some of the candidate’s weaknesses?
- Was the candidate a valuable member of your company?
- How would you rate the candidate’s overall performance pn a scale of 1 to 10?
You get the idea!
You can also create custom questions about anything you like, although, for best results, we recommend keeping questions specific to your role.
Here are some question ideas:
- What makes the candidate unique?
- What is the candidate’s work ethic?
- Is the candidate able to work remotely?
- What’s the candidate’s management style?
Of course, if you are applying for a specific role like lead programmer or developer, feel free to create questions about coding and development.
How else can I strengthen my CV?
Including references with your CV (not just contact information for referees) is a powerful tweak that will land you more job interviews.
Here are some other ways to strengthen your CV:
Use a professional template
Your CV must look as good as it reads. Download a professional CV template for whichever word processor you use.
Use consistent fonts
Use one font for your entire CV. Don’t mix and match. Also, choose a serif or sans serif font (it goes without saying, but avoid cartoony fonts).
Create a digital version
There’s no guarantee the company will view your CV online, but providing the option is a great way to appeal to tech-savvy companies (use a QR code for extra tech appeal).
For the love of employment, download Grammarly and pump your CV into it. It’ll pick up on errors you miss editing in a Word processor.
Listen to your writing
With Microsoft Word, Google Docs and Apple Pages, you can listen to your writing with the review feature. Use it to proofread your work.
Use bullet points
Instead of writing a paragraph about your strengths and weaknesses, list them in bullets to break up your CV and improve readability.
Quantify with numbers
Quantifying statements with numbers means being specific. Instead of saying “I manage large events with a skilled team” say “I manage events of over 200 people with a team of 20 people” to quantify your statement.
Provide references on a separate document
Your CV should be a one-two page document listing everything that’s great about you and what makes you unique. Your references should have a document of their very own, listing all the great things other people have to say about you.
Get started with AutoRefs today
AutoRefs is the only automated reference checking platform that lets candidates take control of their references. If you have incredible references and want to show them off, handing them over with your CV is the best way.
Give AutoRefs a try. It’s free to get started, and you can book a demo to find out more.