Laura Slingo, a career expert at TopCV, shares her advice on how to ensure your horticulture CV captures the attention of your dream employer.
Your CV must create a winning impression from the start. Here are five creative CV tips to help you impress the recruiter and land your next job.
1. Research your selected job description: It’s essential that your CV addresses the specific needs of the job for which you’re applying, and to do that, you must be familiar with the requirements.
Read through the job description and highlight keywords and phrases from the requirements that align with your own experiences. These are the phrases to pepper throughout your CV to show that you are a great match.
2. Call out relevant technical and soft skills: Under your personal statement, include a section titled “key skills” and bullet point between nine and 12 of your skills that are most important to the role so the prospective employer immediately recognises your suitability.
Common soft skills include communication, teamwork, time management, decision-making, and leadership. Technical skills for a gardener may include a horticulture qualification like an NVQ, an NPTC Level 2 in chainsaw maintenance and cross-cutting, PA1 safe handling and application of pesticide and PA6s, plant knowledge, or curatorship of horticultural spaces.
3. Zoom in on achievements rather than duties: In your employment history, instead of listing your responsibilities, showcase your achievements to give recruiters tangible evidence of your abilities and value.
For example, rather than writing, “assisted in the design of new horticulture displays and seasonal flowerbeds”, you could revamp this and say, “assisted in the successful design of new horticulture displays and seasonal flowerbeds, inspired by the history of the grounds and the estate”.
4. Remove unnecessary personal information: There are certain things that should not be on your CV as they are classified as protected characteristics according to the 2010 Equality Act. You do not need to include your age, any disabilities, gender reassignment, marital status, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation.
In addition, you do not need to include your full address. Instead, aim for your town and county or city of residence.
5. Consider the formatting: A polished CV sets the tone of how you carry yourself as a professional, so formatting is important.
Use clear headings for each section to signpost the recruiter through the document, using a font between sizes 12 and 14. Your name can be larger, between sizes 16 and 20. Body text should be between 10 and 11-point font. Also use a clean, modern font throughout your CV, like Arial, Calibri, or Verdana.
If you are struggling for space, you can increase or decrease the margins. But make sure there is an even balance of text to white space or the document may appear too dense or too sparse.
Keep these five tips in mind when writing your CV, and you’ll be sure to impress any employer in the horticulture sector
TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your dream job in the horticulture sector.