A good CV is vital when looking for work, especially when there are numerous candidates for the same job. So what should it contain?
There is no perfect template, however we receive thousands of CVs every week and can offer expert advice. Here are some tips on how to create that killer CV!
- Use Microsoft Word. If a client cannot open your CV but can open those of your competitors, they may compose an interview shortlist before you are even aware of it!
- Check the spelling and grammar!
- Use bullet points – they are an excellent way to focus the reader's attention.
- Only use one font type!
- Keep sections simple. We recommend the following:
- Contact details
- Personal statement
- Previous employment
- Hobbies and interests
- Keep it relevant! There is a tendency to list each and every technology ever used. If it is a defunct technology used 15 years ago, is it relevant?
- When listing previous employment, always start with the most recent position and work backwards.
- Aim for a two page CV that pushes the buttons of what the hirer seeks. This may be difficult if you have a career that spans many years and positions, but try to view it from a hirer's perspective. Are they likely to spend lots of time reading what you did in a completely unrelated role 15 years ago? Whilst the position should be on the CV, the amount of description could perhaps be reduced.
- The Hobbies & Interests section should be short, but give a personal side to the CV. Charity work may illustrate that you are willing to go the extra mile, whilst participation in team sports may show that you are a team player. This is a good way to allow the reader to assess whether you will fit in!
- You don't have to include references, but if you do one of them should be your current employer. If you don't want to include references at this stage simply put "Available on Request".
- Try to make sure that you don't make silly mistakes that could portray you in the wrong light. If your email address is "email@example.com", create another to put on your CV!
- Ask for a second opinion! Once written, if you would like some professional advice we provide this service free of charge. Alternatively, ask a friend or family member for their view.
Feel free to contact us for more free advice!