We have put together a list of 10 key points to consider when writing your CV.
1. Your CV represents you. Your CV is representing you to potential employers, so taking the time and effort to put together a comprehensive document is crucial.
2. What you want. Employers don’t know what you want to achieve, so you need to tell them. State your career objectives, where your personal strengths and weaknesses lie and how you want to develop in your next role.
3. Spelling and grammar. It’s an obvious one, but really check your spelling and grammar, it could be the difference between getting an interview or not. Get a friend to read over your CV, a fresh pair of eyes might catch any mistakes you’ve overlooked.
4. An eye pleasing CV is key. Use a font that is easy to read and in proportion (we recommend font size 10/11). If you intend to post your CV, we advise printing on good quality paper. If sending electronically, converting to a PDF is recommended. Clearly divide the different sections of your CV with bold or underlined titles.
5. Make it vacancy specific. Base the content of your CV on your knowledge, passion and interest of the industry/sector you are applying for a role within.
6. Reverse chronological is the way forward (or backwards). Both your work experience and academic qualifications should appear in reverse chronological order. Employers don’t want to read about that paper round you had when you were 14 first!
7. Bullet points are best. Bullet points are a great way of breaking up text and making information concise. They’re much more inviting to read for an employer than a lengthy paragraph.
8. Keep it up-to-date. Revisit your CV every time you send it. This way you won’t forget to add your most recent achievements.
9. Don’t Lie. Just don’t. A good interviewer will discover the truth during the interview and no one wants to employ a liar.
10. Structure and format. The structure and basic formatting of your CV is of paramount importance when aiming to achieve a well balanced and user friendly document. We’ve put together a useful format to follow, detailing what needs to be in each section. This is the solid basis for a strongly organised and cohesive document:
- Personal Details. Full name, address, email, contact number. It’s also worth stating whether you have a full, clean driving licence.
- Personal Profile. Who you are and what you are looking for.
- Education. The most recent comes first. Don’t include too much detail about less significant qualifications. Include relevant training and courses you have attended by date and course title.
- Work Experience. Do not provide substantial detail about jobs that are not relevant to the role you are now applying for. Your work experience should demonstrate consistency and progression. You want to highlight transferable skills. Include the key facts, summarise the key responsibilities and your personal achievements.
- Interests and Hobbies. Expand upon your passions, hobbies and achievements outside of work. Use your hobbies to further demonstrate skills such as commitment, leadership and achievements.
- References. Either provide the name, relationship to you and contact details of your referees, or state “Available upon request”. Any references given should be up-to-date (ideally from your most recent employer) and their details should be correct.
Let us know your thoughts!