A CV, or curriculum vitae, is an essential marketing tool that will help you create a good first impression n the world of work. It’s important to get a CV right, as it’s usually the first form of contact you will have with a recruiter or potential employer.
HOW TO WRITE A CV
Think about your skills and abilities, personal attributes qualifications, experience, achievements and strengths. Note these down. If you are replying to a specific job advert, think about the key words that have been used and which apply to you. Target your CV towards your chosen profession or the position you are applying for.
Keep it simple! Make sure your CV is logical, well structured and well laid out, as this will make it easier for the employer to read. It’s best to avoid pictures, borders and too many colours. If emailing your CV, ensure it’s a Word document or PDF.
WHAT YOUR CV SHOULD INCLUDE
CV’s should always be introduced with a covering letter. This will allow you to identify the position you are applying for, provide more details to support your CV and application that may be relevant and which have not been included in the CV itself, and let your personality come through.
Name, address, telephone number, email address. Some people like to include their LinkedIn page link too.
Keep this short as it’s purpose is to provide a summary of your skills, experience and strengths. (Also, do this bit last!)
Write these in reverse chronological order (most recent first), and provide details of dates, job titles, brief description of your duties or responsibilities.
Write these down in reverse chronological order (most recent first), and provide details of dates, institutions attended, subjects/courses completed and grades.
Provide dates and names of any courses completed outside of education that may be relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Provide details of any other relevant information like voluntary work, professional membership, skills and abilities, awards and achievements, hobbies and interests.
You do not need to provide references this early on in the application process, unless requested. Don’t forget to get permission from your referees too.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Use a simple font, minimum 11 point. Avoid using fancy fonts and coloured text.
You may have to be selective as to what information you include in your CV. Whilst there is no restriction on length, three pages is about right, as you don’t want to leave the employer feeling overwhelmed. Providing a shorter but more informative and job specific CV will interest them more than a long and irrelevant CV.
Spelling & Grammar
There’s nothing worse than submitting a CV with lots of spelling mistakes. Check your spelling and better still, get someone else to proof read your CV as well. Pay close attention to reply instructions in job adverts and make sure you spell the contact’s name correctly!
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, TELL THE TRUTH!