Your CV - Get it 'Write'
A well-written, impressive CV is the first step in the process of 'making it happen' and securing your dream job.
It may be the door opener to getting you that interview and the chance to show potential employers, not just what you've done in the past, but how you can successfully build upon your achievements in the future.
A clear, concise, comprehensive CV can set the tone for an interview and enable you to play to your strengths and capabilities.
There is no ideal template and depending on which sector you're applying for, certain sections of your CV may be of greater importance, such as qualifications or work experience. But generally, it should be neat, easy to follow and outline your key skills, achievements, past duties and experience, to determine if you're appropriate for the role.
Here are some basic rules for writing your CV.
- What information should I include on my CV?
Personal Details: As obvious as this might sound, it never fails to surprise employers when candidates neglect to include basic details such as name, email address, contact telephone number and home address. Make sure these are clearly marked at the top of your CV.
Education: Include all your formal qualifications, including school, college/university and vocational, as well as any training course undertaken.
Work Experience: Include any work experience in your relevant field. When listing these, include your job title, responsibilities, length of service and name of organisation. List your most recent role first.
Achievements: List relevant skills and achievements from your previous jobs and don't forget to say how these could apply to your new post.
Personal Statement: Not compulsory but some jobseekers like to use this section as an opportunity to outline to an employer why they are ideal for the role. But keep it short.
Hobbies and Interests: Only include hobbies that are relevant to the job, for example, if you're applying for a role in the media, print and design sector, tell them if you enjoy photography or creative writing in your spare time.
- What should I not include on my CV?
Pictures: Unless you're applying to be a model, actor or television personality that may require a headshot, photographs are unnecessary.
False information: It might be tempting to exaggerate your qualifications or achievements but be aware that many companies and recruiters carry out extensive background research so you only have yourself to blame if you get caught out lying.
Too much information: A good CV should never be more than two pages long. Don't be tempted to waffle too much about a job you were in 15 years ago. Instead, showcase your most recent experience and accomplishments.
Poor formatting: It is essential that your CV is clean, clear and not full of formatting errors.
Do not use any unnecessary or fancy formatting on your CV document - stick to the basics to minimise the changes of running into any issues.
Poor spelling and grammar: We all know first impressions count and your CV is your chance to make a good first impression. Spell Check is there for a specific reason. Use it!
Inaccurate or omitted dates: A CV that does not include dates makes employers suspicious of a candidate's background, so always be honest about your dates of employment. If you have a proven track record of staying with a job for a while, absolutely make sure that your employment dates jump out at your reader - this is a real selling point about you as a candidate.
How to present your CV.
- Keep it to two A4 pages
- Choose a clear, professional font to ensure your CV can be easily read.
- Lay it out clearly in a logical order, with sufficient spacing and clear section headings.
- Avoid typos. As well as using Spell Check, ask someone to proof read your completed CV
- List your experience and education in reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent experience and accomplishments.