A CV is a summary of your education, skills, experience and shows organisations why they should hire you over other candidates. Your CV is what the prospective employer will see first from you and will be a deciding factor to whether you secure an interview or not. It is therefore important to make sure that your CV shows off your talents and that you complete it to get the job you’ve always been dreaming of. Below there are tips for what you should be including and mistakes that you should avoid.
There are certain details that are essential for you to include within your CV, these include:
• Contact details – this section should include your full name, address, telephone and email address. You can also include your LinkedIn profile so that the employer has the option to find out more about you.
• Education and Training – this should include a list of all educational institutions, dates attended and qualifications obtained, starting with the most recent first.
• Skills – this can be around 6-8 skills that you feel highlights your offering, for example, customer service, language skills, IT skills.
• Work experience – this can include previous work in internships, voluntary work or any professional roles you have had. You can also highlight any skills you have learnt from these roles that you can carry through to your new job and include the job descriptions and responsibilities of your previous roles.
• References – include the contact details of two people who can supply references to the employer if requested. This could be previous employers or tutors at university for example.
The presentation of your CV is important:
• Lists – bullet points should be used when you have a list, this tidies your document up and makes it easier for the employer to look through and find each section easily.
• Positive language – the language used in your CV should be professional but make sure that it is positive throughout as this will help to bring your personality out.
• No more than 2 sides of A4 – 2 sides of A4 should be enough for you to persuade the employer that you are the best person for the job.
To take a look at some example CVs for a better understanding of how CV’s should be presented CLICK HERE
There are some common mistakes that people make when writing their CV’s, make sure you avoid these by following these tips:
• Spelling errors – before you send your CV to any employers make sure you double or even triple check the document for spelling errors or for poor grammar. Get your friends or family to have a read through your finished CV for you, a fresh pair of eyes might help you to spot any mistakes you may have missed.
• Not tailoring your CV – You want the employer to feel as though you are talking directly to them through your CV. Do your research and find out exactly what skills and experience they are looking for and make sure you place emphasis on these. The employers will appreciate the effort you have put in.
• Listing unnecessary hobbies - there’s no use pointing out the fact that you are an amazing horse rider if you’re applying to a marketing position. It’s good to include your hobbies but make sure the achievements and skills you have gained through your hobby relates to the position you are applying to.
• Not telling the truth - anything you put on your CV is likely to come up in a job interview so if you exaggerate the truth then employers will be able to see straight through it.
• It’s too long – employers spend a lot of their time sifting through applications so are likely to get bored easily. They don’t have the time to read through pages and pages of information about your life, make sure you keep it as concise as possible.
• Writing in third person – if you use phrases such as ‘Rachel is a hard worker, dedicated..’ etc. this can give the impression that you are quite arrogant, and nobody wants to hire a diva!
• Outdated – make sure you keep your CV up to date and add any new experience or skills you gain so you don’t miss anything off.
Article by Sophie-Anne Bradley of Student Job
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