Writing a Great CV
With most employers experiencing massive volumes of applicants, it is essential that your CV stands out from the rest. Putting together a successful CV is easy once you know how. Follow our simple steps to give you the edge when writing your CV.
Simple Steps to Writing a Great CV.
Employers on average, spend just eight seconds looking at any one CV, so keep it punchy, to the point, and save those incidental details for the interview. Ideally, your CV should be no more than two A4 pages, any more than this and you are likely to be waffling, but any less and you will not provide enough information.
Content is King
There is no right or wrong way to layout your content on a CV, but here are some common sections you need to include; personal and contact information; work history and/or experience; education and qualifications; professional and personal achievements; interests and hobbies; two referees.
Mind the Gap
Employers are naturally suspicious when they see gaps on a CV, so do not leave gaps as you will not be given the benefit of the doubt! If you’ve been out of work for a period of time try to put a positive spin on it. Did you attend any training workshops, travelling the world or doing voluntary work?
Easy on the Eye
Image is everything when trying to make a first impression, and this applies to CV’s too, so it has to look good. Clearly presented and printed on clean, crisp white paper. Use bullet points and keep sentences short. The layout should be well structured, and it should never be folded, so if posting your CV, always use an A4 envelope.
Made to Measure
Create a unique CV for every job you apply for; you don’t have to re-write the whole thing, just adapt the details to make them relevant. Use the job description/advert to establish which key skills you will need to include. Research the company’s ethos/image and if possible, adapt your CV to match their style/flavour.
Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, open your CV with a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job. This should be reflected in your cover letter too, but there is no harm in duplicating it on your CV.
Tell the Truth
Telling lies on your CV is a definite NO-NO! Dishonesty can land you in trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. Lies will catch up with you either at the interview stage or even after you’ve started the job. Both of which could be very awkward indeed!
Make it Interesting
When thinking about your interests and hobbies, include anything that shows how diverse, interested, active and skilled you are. Don’t include passive interests like watching TV or solitary hobbies that could be perceived as you are lacking in people skills. Make yourself sound as interesting as possible.
Employers will look for mistakes on CVs and when they find them they will most likely add it to the NO pile! Thoroughly check your CV for typo’s, grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and ensure that what you have written makes sense. Then ask someone else to double-check it for you.
References should be from your current/previous employer or someone you have worked for in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. If you’ve never worked before you’re OK to use a teacher or tutor as a referee. Try to include two if you can.