Your CV is often the first glimpse that a prospective employer or recruiter will gain when it comes to the ins and outs of your professional life. Use your CV as your chance to stand out and showcase your skills and abilities.
Format and design may vary between industries and personal preference, but if you take the time to tailor your CV to every role you are apply for and follow our golden rules, your CV should be finding its way to the top of the pile.
It’s essential to include your contact details on your CV, without these how will employers get hold of you?! A phone number and email addresses should be the minimum – but make sure your email is professional, when it comes to CV’s first impressions really do count.
Your CV should start with a short statement that outlines who you are and exactly what you can offer. Highlight your skills and attributes that you can bring to the job. This is your chance to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the role.
Write in reverse-chronological order your previous places of work. Include concise details of what the job entailed and the skills you learnt – relate these to the job you are applying for to show you are more than capable. Generally it is better to include more detail in recent positions.
Thoroughly check your CV for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Get a friend to read through it in case you’ve missed anything as a simple spelling error can be .
It’s better to keep your CV up-to-date then to include gaps leaving employers to wonder why and what you’ve been doing. Review your CV on a regular basis and add in any skills or experience you may have gained.
Tailor your CV for every role you apply to. Focus on the skills, experience and qualifications you have that relate best to the job you’re applying for.
A good rule is to leave a picture off your CV, if you really think that it is required then make sure you choose a professional picture – the same goes for your LinkedIn profile!
Whilst you want your CV to stand out from the crowd it is best to keep to an easily readable format with uniform text and minimal colour. If you work in more of a creative industry where you want to showcase your design skills then a separate portfolio could be supplied.
Employers want to understand the value that a potential employee can bring. By stating clear and quantifiable achievements it can help to make your CV stand out. These can be put at the top of your CV or as a sub header on your different positions.
One of the biggest CV turn-offs we hear from employers is an overly lengthy CV. The key to CV length is to tailor it to your experience – a CV of 1 to 2 pages may be right for a graduate entering the job market for the first time whilst there is nothing wrong with a 3 to 4 page resume for a seasoned professional.
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