When trying to find the right job, your CV is of paramount importance. If you get it right, you’ll undoubtedly have an interview in no time. Get it wrong and you could face rejection, time after time. Essentially a CV is a marketing document which helps you sell yourself, in a short space, to prospective employers. It should detail your professional skills, experience and qualifications. So how do you go about creating the perfect CV? The following guide gives our top CV writing tips to help you begin your recruitment journey.
Essential details Perhaps an obvious place to start….Your CV should start with your details. Use your name as the title and ensure you include your telephone number and email address. In this digital age, postal address just isn’t a necessity. Instead, you could just list your town and county. It could also be worth including your LinkedIn profile in this section, but do make sure this is all up-to-date on the platform itself!
Personal profile Get this wrong and you will immediately lose interest from the recruiting manager…..This section is the top spot on your CV and should actually be tailored for each job you’re applying for. The reason being that each job, will be looking for key skills and experience. Keep is concise and utilise keywords featured in the job specification.
Make sure you engage with the reader and grab their attention to continue reading the rest of your CV. Aim for anywhere between 50 and 200 words. Concentrate on who you are, what you can offer the company and your career goals. Mirror the language used in the job advert, so look for critical phrases and words and emulate this.
Experience and employment history Here you can outline your previous employment and work experience. You don’t need to include war and peace. List your experience in chronological order, starting with your most recent role.
State your job title, the company and period of employment. Create a line which summarises the role and then utilise a bulleted list which outlines your key responsibilities, skills and achievements. Again, doctor this to the role you’re applying for. If you have many years’ worth of experience, reduce the detail of irrelevant or old roles.
Try and focus on results instead of responsibilities. Think about metrics and make it tangible.
Education & qualifications Again, list your education in chronological order, starting with your most recent qualifications. Include the institution name and the dates you attended, followed by the qualification achieved.
Key skills To strengthen your CV, you could include the key skills and abilities you’d like to showcase to the employer. This sits well underneath your personal profile.
Hobbies and interests Businesses generally have a specific company culture and this is your opportunity to demonstrate a little piece of your personality and so is actually, extremely important. It can show how well you’d fit within the organisation. However, be careful – Make sure you list interests relevant to the role. Draw on interests that could make you stand-out.
Formatting your CV •Length: The standard length of a CV is two pages. Go over this and you risk losing the interest of the recruiter. It’s all about sticking to the most relevant information and keeping it succinct. •Font: Choose a standard font which is clear, professional and easy to read, such as Calibri or Arial. •Font size: The body of your CV should be between 10 and 12 point font. Headings between 14 and 18 point. Keep your margins around 2.5cm. White space ensures professionalism and clarity. •Spelling and grammar: Ensure you proof-read and spell check your CV. All too often this element is forgotten and typos and inaccuracies are a big no-no. It’s always a good idea to get someone else to look over your document and if possible, a professional recruiter to see where you can make improvements. •Tailoring: As mentioned previously, save a generic copy of your CV, but make sure you tailor each version to the specific job you’re applying for.
What not to include There’s no need to include your age or date of birth. Nor do you need to include marital status. Of course, some application processes ask you these details anyway, so don’t be shocked if you come across them. And please do not include a headshot. In some countries, this is common practice, but certainly not required in the UK.
Your online brand If your CV stands out to a recruiter, it’s highly likely that they will do their homework online also. So, ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and be careful which platforms are open for employers to view. These sites should reflect the personal brand you’re trying to portray within your CV.
Your CV is often the first contact a recruiter will have with you and so think of it as a marketing document. A great CV is your ticket to your dream job. By using these top tips, you will create the right impression and hopefully enable you to take the next step within the recruitment process.
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