A CV is a sales tool that you use in order to let potential employers see if you fit the main criteria for their job opportunity. It is often the
first thing that someone hiring sees of you. We all know first impressions count, the same applies from your CV. You need your CV to represent you in
order to get selected for an interview. In today’s competitive market there are often numerous individuals applying for the same job, so you must stand
out from the crowd!
#1 - Keep It Short
A CV should be a short concise and factual summary of you and your employment history. It is usual for a CV to be no more than 2 pages long.
Anymore and the person reading your CV may become disinterested. We kept this one short for a reason!
#2 - Layout
There is no standard format, however, we have found the following layout to be most effective as a sales technique for individuals:
- Personal details – name, contact details, car driver
- Personal profile – introduction to you as an individual
- Work Experience – Company, title, dates – bullet point achievements
- Qualifications and Education
- Hobbies and Interests
#3 - Personal Details
You want people to be able to contact you, this should be the first thing on your CV. You should have your name clearly at the top of the CV,
followed by your address, contact number and email addresses. It is not necessary to put your date of birth/nationality or marital status on
the CV although some people choose to do so. It is always helpful however to include if you have a car and are able to travel.
#4 - Personal Statement
This is often the most difficult section of a CV, this is however your opportunity to sell yourself and you as an individual. This section
should be your ‘60 second elevator speech’. Your personal statement should include your skills, your achievements in summary and the goal you are
striving towards. It should be a statement on intent.
#5 - Work History
There are various ways in which to order your employment history. One is a chronological order – starting with your most recent employment. A
chronological order has all your employment history in the order they came, after 5 years keep the ‘duties’ short so as to keep your CV into the two
recommended page format. The other way is to have a ‘functional CV’. In today’s employment market a lot of individuals are taking temporary work
while job searching or having to take a job to pay the bills. A functional CV fits for you if you have had a lot of ‘temporary’ work while waiting
for your ideal permanent job. In this format you put jobs into either ‘Skill’ sections or ‘temp/perm’ sections so it is clear and concise rather than
give the impression of a ‘unstable’ work history.
#6 - Tailoring Your CV
Each company and job role are different, although they may be looking for the same core skills they may be looking for slightly different skills
and competencies. You should have 2 – 3 different CVs that you can interchange depending on the job opportunity you wish to apply for. For example
if you are a customer services administrator, you might have one CV highlighting your customer services skills and another one with an administrative
#7 - Mistakes To Avoid
There are common mistakes that can be seen in a majority of CVs that can and will put employers off.
- Spelling and Grammar
- Lots of writing but not much content also known as 'waffle'
- No tailoring
- Break the 2 page rule
- Describe duties in work history, not achievements
- Not kept up to date
- No design or layout
- Wrong contact details
- Clichés keeping the details vague