A good CV can make the difference between you getting an interview or not being seen. In this age of great competition it can give you the edge over others and ensure that you are automatically shortlisted.
The key point to remember is that the CV is a reflection of you. It is your advertising document and that is how the interviewer will view it.
Companies spend millions on packaging to persuade us to buy their products and when they get it right the product sells. That is not to say that the consumer will continue to buy it if the content is not right but the chances are if the content is right it will be continued to be bought.
Always remember this when you are writing your CV, it must be striking, pleasing to the eye and engage the reader. Presentation is everything so proof reading is a must. Follow the simple steps listed below and you will not go far wrong!
The aim is always to get your CV to the top of the pile
There is no perfect template and each job role may require different emphasis on particular areas of content, however, the basic rules are as follows;
- The successful CV is always carefully and neatly presented – clear fonts and formatting are vital
- The CV hotspot is the upper middle area of the first page that is where the reader’s eye will naturally fall so make sure you include your most important information here
- Size matters, ideally not more than 2 sides of A4 but obviously for more experienced candidates this can be extended to 3 or 4 pages but always ask yourself is this really relevant?
- Personal details, name, address, phone number, email address but no date of birth, owing to age discrimination rules these are not required
- Begin with a brief personal profile which sells yourself and your qualities tailored towards the job you are applying for. Restrict this to no more than one or two paragraphs
- Career history, starting with your most recent job first, including dates and temporary or voluntary jobs if appropriate include your achievements within these jobs
- Use assertive and positive language under the work history such as “developed”, “organised” or “achieved” to illustrate what you added to the position
- Qualifications and training from your previous role with the most recent first
- The skills section of your CV can help to differentiate you from your competitors and can include communication, computer knowledge, team working, problem solving or speaking a foreign language it is all relevant just reflect on what you have to offer
- Interests especially if they are relevant for the job ie they show examples of team working include anything that shows how diverse, interesting and skilled you are but do not include passive interests like watching TV
- References are vital and please ensure that you have asked their permission beforehand, they need to be a professional contact that has worked with you and their business email address is essential
- Keep your CV updated and relevant, if you have just done some volunteering or a new project make sure they are on their, employers are impressed by candidates who go the extra mile