Making the best first impression…
In most cases, your CV will be the first impression a prospective employer will have of you, and although there is no specific way to present the ‘Perfect CV’, it should always be clearly formatted and tailored to the role you’re applying for and ideally no more than 2 to 4 pages. Use the same Font and Font size throughout and make sure it is easy to read. You want to give yourself the best chance of being shortlisted.
Create and save a ‘Master CV’ that if needed can be amended to make it as appropriate and relevant to the specific vacancy you are applying for.
…Give yourself the best chance of being shortlisted.
What information should I include on my CV?
Make sure your address and contact details are at the top of your CV.
A personal statement is an essential part of standing out from the crowd. It is a ‘snap shot’ of who you are, your strengths, what you’re offering, and what you’re looking for. Try to compile this in one or two short paragraphs. Think this through as it’s the first thing that is usually read on your CV. If it’s not portraying you effectively, it’s not doing the job you want it to.
Current or most recent employer listed first and it may sound silly but keep this uniformed by including dates of employment, your job title and the name of the organisation.
There is no set order on how to present these details but ‘dates of employment’ are usually first. Whichever you decide, make sure you keep to the same layout throughout all your employment history. Follow this with the details of your responsibilities and duties. Not too long, but make sure you have covered what you need to.
Make sure to cover any gaps in your career if there are any.
If you have achieved significant contributions or goals throughout your career then list them. There is nothing wrong with being proud of your achievements. If the job description requires specific experience or responsibilities then make sure you have these covered & visible in the CV and refer to examples in your career.
Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved – although the specific parts of education that you include in your CV will depend on your individual situation. For example, if you have more educational achievements than work experience, placing an emphasis on this section is a good idea.
Hobbies and interests
Not essential but could be the section of your CV that helps break the ice as your interviewer will have read your CV beforehand and maybe found something in common. Keep it relatively short to avoid the reader being distracted from everything else.
There is nothing wrong with being proud of your achievements!
PROOF your CV a few times. Check for spelling and punctuation mistakes. You will be surprised by the amount of CVs we receive with spelling mistakes. Make sure the spacing throughout the CV is the same. Let someone who knows you read your CV. Are you satisfied the CV contains all the information that will portray you in the best way? – then JOB DONE.
In some cases, it may be beneficial to provide a covering letter to help support your CV. This will allow you to take a more personal interest in a specific role by highlighting specific reasons for your interest and why you feel you meet the criteria and would be a worthy candidate to interview.