First impressions count and your Curriculum Vitae is your first opportunity to impress an employer. A well-constructed CV should highlight your skillset and experience, as well as communicating any key achievements and attributes.
The following tips should help ensure that you present a professional document and maximise your chances of getting the opportunity to attend an interview.
- Your CV should ideally be no more than 2-3 pages long.
- The font type and size should be easy to read and consistent throughout the document.
- Type all job titles in a bold to make them stand out.
- Put all information on jobs and education in reverse chronological order as the most recent information is the most relevant.
- Include the month/ year of employment for each individual job and ensure the dates run sequentially. Explain any career gaps.
- Make sure the overall presentation looks neat and tidy and align paragraphs and margins.
- When you have finished ensure you check the spelling and punctuation and if possible ask a friend or family member to proof read for you.
Key Information to include
- A personal statement or list of key professional attributes is a good way of highlighting your key skills.
- Make sure your specific duties are covered in all roles.
- A career objective can be useful that highlights exactly the type of role that you are looking for.
- Wherever possible include quantifiable facts and figures – particularly when highlighting your key achievements.
- A summary of your education and membership of any relevant professional associations.
Information to exclude
- Salary – a figure could be too low or too high and you could get ruled out – negotiable is adequate if you must put a salary down.
- Reasons for leaving a job – if this information is required it can be discussed at interview stage.
- Referees details or references and testimonials can be passed across at a later stage in the process and dont need to be on the CV.
- Photographs – there is no reason why you need to include a photograph unless it is specifically requested.
- Any personal information relating to your age, religion, race or sexual orientation.
Going the extra mile
- Ensure that your CV is achievements orientated and highlights all your key successes.
- Include keywords to allow your CV to be found on job boards and by recruiters more easily.
- Transferable skills are just as important as key achievements so include things like communication skills and management ability.
- Tailor your CV for each individual application so you can ensure that the most relevant experience and skills are highlighted.