Essentially, your CV is what will get you that interview or not – it could be the vehicle to a new way of life, a routine, a focus, a job. To do that, it needs to be perfect.
That means no spelling errors at all and all fonts and formatting should be uniform and consistent throughout. Make sure it tells the recruiter/HR person/Hiring manager what you can do and what you can’t; and that anything you feel is relevant to your application is included somewhere on the CV. After all, if it’s not included, then how is anyone to know you have done it?
The first page of the CV needs to engage the reader instantly. I would always suggest that directly under your name and contact details you have a strong profile paragraph. This should be three or four lines which basically says to the reader – who you are, what you can do, what you have done (achievements) and what type of roles you are looking for. Essentially, this profile becomes your sales pitch and the rest of the CV is your full specifications.
CV Writing Tips
- If you are a recent Graduate, your CV should start with Educational qualifications. Conversely, if you are a more experienced candidate, start with professional experience and work from the present / most recent role backwards.
- Outline each role in bullet points and stress any achievements you had whilst in that role.
- Start each sentence with an action word, for example , words like – ‘Delivered’, ‘Implemented’, ‘Communicated’ etc..
- Tailor your CV to the actual role you are applying for. This can be as simple as printing off the job specification in case and working your way down through the requirements that the client has set out in the job. You may look at some of the requirements and say to yourself, ‘well actually I did that when I was working with ABC Ltd’. This is the type of thinking which could make all the difference.
- Realistically, Hiring Managers will look at a CV for a couple of seconds. Your challenge is to ensure your profile holds their attention for that time period and that he or she sees enough to make them want to meet with you. Never underestimate the importance of those first few seconds.
- The bottom line with CV Preparation is simple, if it is not perfectly representative of you and your career to-date you are doing yourself a disservice.
Your CV could be the key to a whole new life. It’s vital that you give it the time and dedication required to make it as perfect as possible. Make your impact early, cover all the bases and make sure your CV fits the role you’re applying for. After that, all that’s left is to double and triple check for spelling and formatting issues.