Your CV is the first and most important tool to ensuring you secure an interview. It’s the key to your campaign and must sell you in an attractive and professional manner.
Ensure you take time to put together a CV that showcases your experience and achievements and ensure you are able to talk through these with confidence in an interview.
We have chatted to our clients to gain their feedback on what they believe are the most important things when reading a CV:
Section 1 - Personal details. The key here is not to take up too much room. All you need is name, along with your email address and Linkedin URL. Ensure your Linkedin profile is up to date as this is essentially where you promote 'Brand You'.
Section 2 - Education. Start with your most recent first, even if you're only part-qualified. Stipulate when you intend to take your next stage of exams. In addition:
- GCSEs - detail your grades (not subjects).
- A-Levels - detail of subjects and specific grades (otherwise the reader will assume your grades were poor).
- Add in BTEC and HND, if appropriate.
- Degree - detail classification of degree, where you studied and the course.
Section 3 - Experience. For all the different businesses you have worked for - ensure that there is a description of what the company does, its size, and who it competes with. Do not assume that the reader knows. In addition:
- Separate out different jobs within the same business - this shows progression, which is evidence that you were rated highly.
- Your past 2 jobs or last 5 years of experience to be constructed as follows:
- 3 or 4 Bullets on your MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES
- 3 or 4 Bullets on your AD-HOC PROJECT TYPE WORK - i.e the non day to day stuff!
- 4 or 5 Bullets on your KEY ACHIEVEMENTS - the experience that is unique to you - where you have had a positive impact on the performance of the business, your team etc
- Write your experience section in bullet points NOT prose - it is your responsibility to make your CV easy on the eye (i.e lots of white space) and easy for the reader/interviewer to pick out the most relevant parts.
Section 4 - Additional Info. List your computer skills, with specific packages used and your ability on those packages/applications. Add any courses you have attended or any formal training that you have received.
Section 5 - Interests. You have nothing to lose by adding in your interests. If you share something in common, it acts as an ice breaker!
And finally, some additional thoughts:
- Bespoke your CV to every job application - there will be words & phrases in the job you're applying for, that you can use in your CV to better explain your experience for this job.
- Highlight the most relevant aspects of your experience to the job you are applying for - it just ensures the reader doesn't miss something.
Ensure your CV looks professional and is laid out neatly. You will be judged by the standard of this, so ensure it creates a fantastic first impression, with a font size no smaller than 11. Do not use Times New Roman font.
You should be able to say everything necessary on no more than three sides of A4.
Only include information in your CV that can be factually verified. Expressions such as, "a good mixer" or “enthusiastic and outgoing” are best left out, and can be better conveyed face to face in an interview. Use number based facts if you can, ‘I have improved efficiency by 25%’ or ‘I have increased sales ten fold’.
To find out more about our top CV techniques please feel free to contact your career consultant via the link below:
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