Your CV is a very important document. With it rests your hopes and dreams for that next step up the career ladder, for a new challenge, or for more money. Your CV therefore has to represent the best you have to offer if you do not want to miss out on that 'perfect' job for you.
Employers often receive a lot of CV's for each advertised position but what they are looking for is one thing, a document that proves why you're the ideal candidate to invest their time and money in. This is your opportunity sell yourself and ensure you stand out from the crowd.
You do not need to jazz it up with colourful text and photographs, keep it simply but to the point. Use easy to read Arial or Times New Roman, no smaller than size 11 font. A CV should be no longer than 2 pages.
Use the first page wisely and get as much information that’s relevant to the role you are applying for here.
Do not rush the preparation of your CV it is far too important – take your time and get it right.
Your CV should follow the following format:
Ensure your name and contact details, including email and telephone numbers are at the top of your CV so a potential employer can contact you. Include an email address that you are check regularly, which has a professional name like KatySmith@gmail.com. An email address from your school days, like Katyloveskittens@hotmail.co.uk is unlikely to secure you an interview.
A brief paragraph that immediately captures the attention of your reader and entices them to find out more about you.
Use this area as an opportunity to let your future employer know what you have been doing and what you’re looking to do next, whilst ensuring you highlight your skills in relation the role you are applying for.
We would suggest that you change this section each time you apply for a role, detailing exactly why you’re a good fit for that role.
List your actual skills i.e. IT skills, include programmes used etc – especially if relevant to the role you’re applying for. Other skills would include languages, or anything specific for the role you’re applying for.
Do not list good communications skills, good team player etc. as this should be reflected under your job roles in work experience.
List the most recent position first, continuing in reverse chronological order including your job title and the company you have worked for, together with month and year started and finished.
Aim to use bullet points wherever possible to highlight your responsibilities in each role so the person scanning your CV can quickly match up your experience with their job description. If you had many responsibilities in a previous role you do not need to list them all, just the ones most relevant to the role you are applying for.
Add a sub-heading of achievements, to highlight where you have successfully added value or exceeded targets etc, especially where you are applying for a sales role.
In reverse chronological order, give brief details of your academic and professional qualifications along with the grades you achieved.
If this is your first job since leaving school/university, include this information above any work experience. If you have several years work experience put your education after.
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
List all your interests and hobbies, as this adds the personal touch and can be an additional area of interest to an employer at interview. Be specific, if you like reading, say what it is you like reading or if you have been travelling say where you have been.
References available upon request
Ensure that you have no spelling or grammatical errors, as this will not be received well by future employers. Do not rely on spell check.
Once you have done all your checks, it is a good idea to get someone to review your CV who will be honest with you about any improvements. If they can relay what you have been doing and pick out your key strengths, then you have a good CV.