Your CV is the first impression a potential employer has of you, it is your Newspaper headline so make sure it impresses enough to get you to the next stage. Here are our tips on how to get the best out of your CV:
Important Information: It might seem obvious but remember to include your contact details- Otherwise how can you be contacted? Always include your name, address, email address and at least one telephone number. Links to any social media pages i.e. LinkedIn are also becoming popular.
Order: Put your most recent experience first. Chronologically ordering your experience may seem logical however your employer needs to know your most recent experience.
Format: A decent format will not only make your CV look good but also makes it easier for the reader. Use Bullet points, sections, titles, and standard fonts. This makes it easier for you to focus the reader’s attention on the most important details.
Concise: Make your CV an interesting read that only tells the reader necessary information. Aim for no longer than 2 sides of A4. For each position state the company name, your title, dates and a brief description of any relevant skills or qualifications you gained there and a reason for leaving.
Relevant: Hand-tailor your CV for each job you apply for. A one fits all CV could get lost among the others. Show employers you’ve made a real effort by tailoring the CV to the Job and the company.
Wording: Think carefully about the words you’re using and the impression it makes. Try to revamp the common phrases: ‘Team player’ & ‘excellent communication skills’.
Highlight Qualifications : Make sure your skills are clearly displayed. Highlight education, qualifications, ICT capabilities, and language skills. Focus on qualifications and skills relevant to the job your applying for.
Honesty: Don’t put anything on your CV which isn’t true. You won’t be able to keep up the lie.
Cover Letter: Always accompany you CV with a tailored cover letter. The cover letter should provide a brief introduction to yourself and your current situation, explain why you’re right for the job highlighting experience and why you want to work for the company.
Check: Always check and re-check for spelling mistakes. Ask a friend or family member to read it. There should be no grammatical or spelling errors.
When asked what were typical CV errors a pool of recruiters commented:
- Leaving out location
- Having CV in a Chronological order rather than starting with the most recent
- Having a poorly balanced CV, Focusing on skills and descriptions whilst not including previous work placements.
- Using inconsistent fonts and formats
- Using unusual fonts- stick to the standards (They aren’t boring they are readable!)
- Year Long Gaps on CV’s – without explanation
- Spelling mistakes
- A long CV – try and stick to two pages where possible
- A link to a Twitter Account or Linked in page which is ill kept and out of date
A Signet Employers Ideal CV:
‘I Like a CV which tells a concise story. I need to know the Candidates location. I need to know the candidates current role and also their previous roles highlighting all relevant skills and qualifications.’
‘Well formatted with simple to the point information… in Arial 10.’