Your CV is the first impression that you’ll make on a potential employer. It is worth remembering that each recruiter’s idea of a ‘perfect’ CV will be slightly different. Indeed a strong CV can occasionally itself secure you a job, especially if you are applying for temporary work. A poorly constructed CV can give a potential employer a negative impression of you as a candidate and stop you from securing that all important interview
Taking a little time on design, construction and wording and using the following guidelines to write and submit your CV, will ensure you promote yourself to your best advantage
The CV is intended to get you an interview.
It should be written for the person reading it not the person writing it.
Avoid jargon, avoid internal job titles that do not have meaning in the outside world.
It should present you in your best possible light, i.e. highlight your strengths and avoid your weaknesses.
It should excite the reader by talking his/ her language and providing positive information that is relevant to the position applied for.
Your CV should ideally cover no more than two pages and never more than three. Aim to ensure the content is clear, structured, concise and relevant. Using bullet points rather than full sentences can help minimize word usage.
Stick to the plot – keep it clear, concise and positive.
A basic CV may need tailoring with each job application to best suit the requirements of the role applied for.
Identify six or seven key achievements from your career to date that give crunchy factual information and can be immediately identified by the reader.
The completed CV needs to be checked carefully for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes – which always leave a poor impression – and to ensure that it makes sense. Ask an ‘independent’ party to review the whole document before it is put into use.
Your resume should be laser-printed in black ink using a plain type face, on good quality white/cream paper
Creating your CV
Start with your personal details. Full name and contact details including all useable telephone numbers. Avoid superfluous details such as religious affiliation, children’s names etc…
Educational history and professional qualifications should follow, including name of institutions and dates attended in reverse order – university before school results. List GPA and any certifications attained. (These details will matter more if you have recently entered the job market, than if for example you left full time education 20 years ago).
Include computer skills and (genuine) foreign language skills and any other recent training/development that is relevant to the role applied for.
The most widely accepted style of employment record is the chronological resume. Career history is presented in reverse date order starting with most recent. Achievements and responsibilities are listed against each role. More emphasis/information should be put on more recent jobs.
Leave hobbies and interests to last – keep this section short. References can simply be ‘Available on Request’. Current salary details should not be included. A good cover letter should always accompany your CV.
Your CV and cover letter should combine to create a picture of you and your career-to-date and illustrate why you are different from the competition and hopefully secure yourself a place on a shortlist