CV Tips

 

If you ask ten people how to create the perfect CV, chances are you will get ten different answers! Everybody has an opinion on what a great CV should contain and a quick internet search will often throw up conflicting advice on what to include and what to leave out. The truth is that there is no perfect CV template, but there are some key rules that you should consider when creating or amending your CV. We have spent some time exhaustively compiling what we consider the key points to bear in mind when creating your CV and letter of application :-

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  1. Make it relevant - When we look through a CV, most of the time we are looking for relevant experience or skills. Think about the role that you are applying for and think about whether the experience you have included on your CV is relevant for the role you are applying for. Try to match the skills required in the job description or advert to your experience but try to avoid quoting from the job description directly. Make it relevant to you!
  2. Size matters - A lot of people will advise you that two pages is the maximum amount for a CV and anything more is too cumbersome. Whilst this is a good size to aim for, don't feel that you have to be constrained by this. If your experience is relevant and needs to be included then an extra page of good quality detail will not do you any harm. However keep an eye on length, if you find that you are into four, five or six pages you may want to think about trimming back a little. Think about what detail you really need – do we really need to know your cats full name?
  3. Get the lingo right - Employers want to see your career history but more importantly what you have achieved so make sure you ensure your CV has some good evidence to back this up . Include any great data, facts or figures about why you were brilliant in your roles. Use appropriate language to sell yourself but don't overdo the adjectives. Remember, if you claim to have been the saviour in your last job, be prepared to talk knowledgeably about it because its likely an interviewer will ask!
  4. Clean and tidy - In such a busy market, it may seem bewilderingly difficult to get your CV noticed. Actually, its easier than you think! Choose a layout that is clear, error free and has the key points fore grounded. Ensure your job title, company name and time in employment is clearly displayed and your job summary is concise and clear. Avoid large blocks of prose and opt instead for punchy bullet points. Try to avoid elaborate graphics, fonts and sizes. It may say creative whizzkid to you, but it may say unreadable to us! Unless you are applying for a design position, stick to black text on white background and make sure your font size doesn't creep above 12!
  5. Postioning - Most CVs should include your personal details, personal statement, job history and academic / professional qualifications. However a lot of hot air is expended arguing about what order a CV should be written in! Some people will tell you education needs to come first, others will say it must be at the end of your CV! Its enough to give you a headache! We say, there is no right or wrong answer. The skill to learn is positioning your details in order to give an employer the chance to see your most relevant skills. If your academic qualifications are what make you right for the job then place these straight after a personal statement. If your GCSE in home economics is not that relevant to the HR position you are applying for then include your academic history toward the end.