Your CV must stand out
Looking for a new a Job? Your CV is an important tool, when it comes to getting a job, and delivers your first impression to your potential employers. First impressions do matter in this situation, the first 20-30 seconds are vital to getting an interview. Give your employer a reason to invite you for the interview, as they may have hundreds of applicants. So make the effort to put together a well thought out and easy to read CV.
Your CV must stand out if you want to get to the interview. Your prospective employer will probably not spend very long looking at your CV – and if they can’t find the information they require, they may go straight to the next applicant. Make sure you highlight the benefits of employing you, summarise your strengths and capabilities, include successes and major achievements. Remember to use your CV to represent the best qualities of who you are.
Gather all the required information together about yourself to include in your CV. Full name, address, home telephone number, date of birth Marital status – single or married Nationality Do you have a full driving licence? Education / qualifications List your qualifications and education history, (starting with the most recent date first).
List any professional qualifications or membership of professional associations, College or university degrees, Diploma, etc, making sure you list activities and courses you have taken part in that will be relevant to your new job. Work Experience. If you have been working consistently for a number of years you will not need to include any part-time jobs, vacation jobs, voluntary work or unpaid work experience. If you have been unemployed for some time you should include any work activity, to highlight any experience gained. Charity work can also be included in your interests section.
List achievements which are relevant to your next job and show how you achieved them. List computer skills you have, software and operating system used. Foreign language skills which may be relevant for your job indicating your level of fluency.
Interests / Hobbies
List your interests, hobbies, any sports you play including positions of responsibility you hold currently, or in the past, within a club or organisation, desribe your responsibilities and achievements. References, you don’t need to list references on your CV, but have them to hand, and offer the contact details when requested. When writing your CV, keep this part brief and to the point
Writing your CV
Start with your professional and work experience unless you have just left school. List your your most recent job/jobs and work. Include your job title (e.g. Manager, Assistant, etc), the job title of the person you reported to (e.g. Director, Manager, etc). Name the company, and describe breifly the nature of the business. Describe your main responsibilities, achievements, duties and skills. Be specific and positive about your skills. Include your level of responsibility if any, Quantify your achievements if possible. You should try to include some achievements such as meeting deadlines, budgets, etc, and any information that may be relevant to your next job. Concentrate on your recent history and summarise older information. If you’ve got A Levels then we don’t list all your O Levels/GCSEs. Similarly, if you’ve got a degree, there’s no need to include A Level grades unless they’re all As or Bs.
The layout and visual appeal of your CV is very important. Potential employers need to find the important information clearly. Dont clutter the page. Leave white spaces and use appropriate headings and section breaks. Ensure that you use good quality A4 paper, and a good printer, for your CV and cover letter. Keep your CV to two A4 pages, unless specifically requested. Keep your sentences short and to the point, use bullet points to break up the text under section headings. Every time that you send out your CV you will need to send out a cover letter with it, whether you are sending your CV in response to an advert or direct to an employer or recruiter. This cover letter needs to tell the person you are sending it to why they should read your CV.
A cover letter needs to say a lot more than just: ‘Here is my CV!’, which is all some people seem to think a cover letter should say. It needs to tell the person why you are writing to them and outline why you are the ideal candidate for the job. You need to pick out the highlights from your CV that are relevant to this specific application. Don’t make busy, fussy patterns or borders – keep it simple. Don’t include salary information unless specifically requested. Don’t include weight, height, health, or any other personal information. Don’t use poor quality photocopies for your CV – they make it look as though you are sending off your CV to lots of companies and that you may not be too bothered who you work for. Don’t include details of your primary school.