CV TOP TIPS
A good curriculum vitae - or CV - is vital when looking for work, especially when there are numerous candidates for the same job, so what should it contain?
There is no perfect template, and each sector may require a different emphasis on a different aspect of the content, such as career history or qualifications.
However, experts suggest there are some basic rules on how a CV should be written and the information that should be included.
It should be short, usually no more than two sides of A4. It should be positive, stressing achievements and strengths, and make a good impression in a clear and positive way.
The basic format for a CV includes:
- Personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and possibly any professional social media presence. You no longer need to include your date of birth, owing to age discrimination rules
- A personal profile which sells yourself and your qualities, tailored towards the job you are applying for. If you need help with this come to Job Club
- Career history, starting with your most recent job first. Include dates and temporary or voluntary jobs if appropriate
- Achievements from previous jobs that are relevant
- Qualifications and training from previous jobs, with the most recent first
- Interests, if they are relevant and especially if the skills or teamwork concerned are relevant for the job
- Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history, such as caring duties
"Poor spelling is the quickest way of getting a rejection,"
Style: concise, succinct. Think report style not novel.
Layout: keep it clear and accessible. A jumble of underlining, bold, italic and 98 different fonts will give anyone a headache.
Typos: proof-reading is an art. You need to read one word at time. Print out your CV, mark any mistakes, read each word slowly and separately out loud, then ask someone to do the same, then do it again.
Gaps in CVs: health, prison, raising a family – prepare an explanation which does not have to be an apology or defensive.
Jargon: unless you know the reader understands the jargon of your current or recent roles, don’t use it!
Interests and hobbies: a list of sports teams you were in, countries you’ve visited, films you’ve seen, do not on their own, convey you are an interesting person whom everyone will love and bond with. Be specific and relevant.
Social Media - What does yours say about you?
Your Facebook profile is an extension of you and like it or not, employers are now using it as part of the recruitment process. It has been reported that 56% of employers now review the Facebook profiles of job applicants. They're a good indicator of your job performance, they give managers an idea of your personality and how you'll fit into the team (or not). It’s just one more way of whittling down a mountain of CVs. If you are a job seeker and your Facebook profile isn’t optimised, are you missing an opportunity, or worse are you putting employers off?
IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOME HELP TO DEVELOP AND WRITE YOUR CV POP INTO THE JOB CLUB, WE ARE OPEN EVERY TUESDAY AND FRIDAY 10AM UNTIL 1PM.