- By Jonathan
- Posted Tuesday 21
st May 2019
So you’ve decided to look for a new job, or perhaps you are returning to the workplace after a period away.
Whatever your reasons, you will need a CV in order to apply for a position.
Below you will find some of our best CV tips…
What is a CV?
A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is still the go-to document people use when applying for a position and invariably, is the first thing a prospective employer will read and therefore the first impression they will have of you as a potential candidate.
A CV allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience and any hobbies and interests which might be of relevance. It’s basically the story of YOU.
- However, always keep in mind that employers read numerous CVs in the course of a recruitment drive. Therefore, you need to keep your CV short (ideally 2 A4 pages) and don’t include anything that isn’t relevant to the position you are applying for.
Where Should I Start?
- Start with the straightforward information; your CV should begin with your contact information – your name, address (although some people choose not to include this), telephone number and email. There is no reason to include your date of birth.
- Lots of people then choose to include a personal statement after personal information. You might like to write a short description of yourself – perhaps explaining why you have chosen to follow the career path that you have or what you would like to achieve in the future. This ‘statement’ can be adapted to fit the role you are applying for – you can tailor your skill set to the skills required in the job advert.
- Keep your personal statement to one, short paragraph - don’t ramble on and keep everything relevant. Try to use positive words to describe yourself.
- Starting with your most recent qualifications and/or education, detail your education and professional qualifications, including grades achieved
- You may choose to provide lots of detail if a specific qualification is particularly relevant to the position you are applying for. Alternatively, you may feel that your previous work experience is of more importance, therefore you can simply list your educational achievements for information purposes.
- Your most recent/current role is of most relevance to a prospective employer so that’s where you need to start.
- As well as detailing your dates of employment, you should also provide information about the role/s you held within the company and include your job title.
- If you have held several positions within one company, you should list the job title and dates of each position and indicate whether these were promotions or a change of career direction within the company.
- Again, try to highlight any experience in previous positions that is most relevant to the job you are applying for.
- List your main responsibilities, skills required for the position and your achievements whilst in that role.
- If you have any gaps in employment, for whatever reason, you should indicate what you were doing in this period rather than just ignoring it so just include the dates and one simple statement - ‘bringing up a family’, ‘unemployed’, ‘studying’, etc. If a prospective employer wants more information, they will ask you at the interview stage so be prepared for that.
- Depending on how many companies you have worked for, and for how many years you have been working, you may have a very long list of previous employment. The accepted rule of thumb is to provide detailed information (as above) for the last 10 years of employment. Some choose not to include any employment history at all beyond that whilst others choose to list their older employment history very briefly.
Hobbies & Interests
- If you feel that your CV needs further interest or ‘boosting’, you might like to include some of your hobbies or interests. Be very careful though – listing something like ‘reading’ doesn’t offer the employer a different perspective of you as a potential candidate. However, something that is relevant to the position you are applying for, or something that demonstrates your dedication and commitment, for example, marathon running, might illustrate some of your positive characteristics and these will be of interest to a future employer.
However, there is a fine line – you don’t want a potential employer to think you might be taking time off work to follow your hobbies.
Equally, if your CV is full with your employment and education history, don’t include a hobby just for the sake of it.
- It always used to be standard practice to list your referees, or to state that ‘references are available upon request’. These days, it’s accepted that prospective employees will have references and these will usually be requested by the company, in due course.
Follow the CV Tips
When writing your CV, remember it’s the gateway to your future career so take your time over it, tailor it to fit the position you are going for and be truthful.
You will have the opportunity to demonstrate your personality at the interview stage, so for now, try to keep it short and sweet and avoid any gimmicks.
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