Having a good CV is essential for job seeking, but also so you are always fully aware of your own current job responsibilities and what is expected of you. Try and always keep it up to date as you never know when you may suddenly need it!
- Keep your CV ideally to 2 or 3 pages MAXIMUM
- It should contain a short profile that sums up your key experience, skills, achievements and motivations. Ensure that a little of your personality is also conveyed – this is your sales pitch!
- It should also include qualifications with establishments and dates (all dates should be month and year), job roles with company, title and dates.
- Include achievements for your qualification and job roles – any awards, major project successes, etc. companies like to see how you can add value so demonstrate it on your CV.
- You can also include hobbies – but try to keep them interesting and not too bizarre!
- Keep your job history in chronological order with most recent first.
- Include on a separate page your publications, posters and presentations lists
- Keep it SIMPLE – do not add boxes or try and put in fancy backgrounds; often clients have different operating systems and the formatting will render your CV a mess or unreadable. Simple bold/italic/underlined headings with bullet points are fine.
- Avoid using long paragraphs and sentences – keep it concise.
- Always tailor your CV for the role you are applying for – have you shown the evidence for those aspects of the role you have done? Are they at the top of the relevant job responsibilities so that the client reading your CV will see the key words/experience straight away? Have you gone into enough detail – expand upon the most relevant points and delete those that are not necessary. Remember it is to GET THE CLIENTS ATTENTION. You can always elaborate or talk through your extra skills at interview.
- Try and include a cover letter if you can highlighting the specific relevant points for the role/business.
- Imagine you are the client – what are the key things they are looking for? Ask your Consultant the 3 or 4 MAIN CRITERIA the client gave them when taking the job on – and SELL your experience in these areas.
- NEVER falsify or exaggerate anything on your CV as even if you do ultimately get the job you will not be as competent as you had sold yourself at interview and it will likely become a highly stressful situation. Better to highlight your strengths, show you understand your weaker areas and what you are doing to improve these or gain the knowledge gap.
- We have the ability now to spell and grammar check everything so ensure you do this. A CV with more than one or 2 errors will like be rejected as the client will think you are lazy or perhaps lacking good written communication skills.
- Avoid unnecessary things like photos, salary details (might put you out of the frame straight away), weaknesses and jargon (remember to re-read your CV as if you were the client!). Anything like date of birth, nationality, religion etc. are not needed and irrelevant.
- Always put ‘references upon request’ as it not professional to name people on your CV; however if you have a good reference that you feel is relevant then take it along to the interview!
You are the product and this is your advertisement so make sure you take the time to get it right. If you are unsure of how to format or structure your CV speak to your specialist consultant for advice or to review it.
So in summary:
- Simple 2-3 pages
- Good presentation – easy to read headings, dates, qualifications, etc.
- Avoid complex formatting, shading, boxes and stylised fonts
- Relevant for the role – highlighting key skills & experience – avoid anything unnecessary
- Honest and factual
- Sell your abilities and characteristics in a very positive way
- Read it as if you were the Client – would you offer you an interview?
- SPELL AND GRAMMAR CHECK!