Your CV should be an engaging advertisement for a unique product: you. It should sing your talents, showcase your skills and give an enticing snapshot of your experience. Follow our top tips for a CV that really does you justice:
Is your CV as smart as you are? Here are our top tips.
1. Keep it focused
When you’re one of a pile of 50 candidates, it pays to have a CV that’s short and sweet. Aim to impress within a ten-second read and put a short but punchy “key points” section at the very start to grab attention.
2. Tailor it for each job
Before you send out your CV, compare it with the job specification. What do you need to emphasise more? What can you cut altogether? A CV should be no more than two or three pages long.
3. Always include a covering letter
This should join the dots between your key skills and those of the job specification. It’s your chance to make it crystal clear you’ve got what it takes and more.
4. Keep it fresh
Whether you’re job hunting or not, you should update your CV regularly with new training and achievements. Keep it primed and you’ll be ready for the next big opportunity.
5. Mind the gap
An unexplained gap in your CV can look suspicious. If you were unemployed, then be open and positive about it, mentioning the skills and tenacity you used to find a new job.
6. Take time to proofread
Spelling mistakes and formatting errors can make you look slapdash. Make use of your spellchecker, but don’t rely on it; ask someone you trust to read it and give their opinion.
7. Perfect your presentation
Don’t just read your CV, look at it. Make headings clear. Keep it neat and easy to read. Use the same font throughout. Keep sentences short and use bullet-points to make lists easier to scan.
8. Don’t make it up
Employers will discover the truth at interview and they can double-check facts with your referees. If you exaggerate to get a job, it won’t be long before they call your bluff.
9. Do the maths
List what you’ve achieved, not just skills and qualifications, and give concrete figures where you can. Why waffle about‘significant growth’ when you can pinpoint a‘50% sales increase in three months’?