Is Your CV Ready?
We all understand the importance of a good CV, but what makes a CV good? You might think your skills and experiences are all that count and how you present them doesn’t matter, but getting it right can mean the difference between being invited to an interview or put straight into the ‘No’ pile.
We’ve put together some of our top tips to help ensure your CV will secure you that all important interview:
Back to Basics
- Remember you’re selling yourself to an employer. Apart from the obvious inclusions, such as your contact details (name, town, country, email and telephone number), your professional history, abilities and education/qualifications (reverse chronological order) – remember to include key skills and achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
- Include a link to your LinkedIn profile (if you have one) and make sure it’s up to date.
- Include a personal profile- a short summary of who you are and what you can do and again, make sure you tailor it to the role you are applying for.
- Hobbies and interests are optional but are definitely worth mentioning if they have a link to the role. Although it’s less common to include hobbies and interests these days, remember they also show the human side to you and help provide some personality.
- References can be requested once you have been successfully offered the role so we recommend using the general sentence ‘references available on request’.
- Don’t include a date of birth- employers cannot discriminate on age.
What Else is Needed?
- Check online for free templates– there are plenty available and can often suit the type of job you are applying for.
- Keep it simple, use easy to read (black text, clear font) and a common format (ie Microsoft Word) all of which is best for ATS software and can reduce formatting errors if your CV is parsed.
- Use bullet points and keep sentences short.
- Leave plenty of white space between categories and text- this design trick helps make the layout easy to navigate.
- Proof-read your CV and ask someone else to check it for you too- make sure there are no grammatical errors and remove graphics and images.
10 More Top Tips
In no particular order- these are all good and of equal importance:
- Before you write your CV, ensure you have a job goal in mind. You want to make sure that your CV is personalised for each role and setting a goal will help you determine exactly what’s necessary. Tailor the content to the role you’re applying for.
- Keywords- copy some from the job advert/description as this will demonstrate that you’ve read the spec and understood the role. If you’re uploading your CV to a job site for recruiters then keywords are vital. Search engines will pick out your CV based on the keywords you use so research the job and include job titles and buzzwords relevant to the role.
- Mention the professional results you’ve achieved and be specific (ie: achieved yearly sales targets of £££ within six months of starting).
- ‘Curriculum Vitae’ is a pointless heading. Simply title your CV with your name and contact details.
- Think about the words you are using to describe yourself and your experiences. You want to sound professional and stand out to the employer.
- Keep the layout consistent, minimising text font and size changes.
- Use a professional email address- don’t put employers off straight away with something inappropriate. A good example would be email@example.com.
- List your work experiences (job title, employer, dates of employment) in reverse chronological order (most recent job first).
- Keep it short and concise and a maximum of 2 pages (3 at a push). Focus on the points most relevant to the job.
- Only add in detail to the last 10 years or so, summarising everything that is older- don’t be afraid to delete those old, irrelevant courses and qualifications.
If you’re currently searching for a new job hopefully you’re now ready to write a top CV that will get you noticed and straight onto the ‘Yes’ pile!
The fantastic news is we’ll always review your CV if you’re applying for one of our jobs. Why not have a go using our guidelines in this blog, send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org and she’ll review it for you, giving some helpful tips if needed.