Your CV is a key tool when it comes to your professional advancement, so it's worth taking the time to get it right.
Preparing your CV can be a daunting task but is a very important one in any job search. Here are some tips to help you make that first and lasting impression an excellent one:
Employers look favourably on CV's that are concise and easy to read, spending an average of just 30 seconds scanning each one. They often have many to look through and have a checklist of skills and experience to consider. Your CV should therefore be clearly laid out with spaces to make finding relevant information quick and easy. You can achieve this by:
- Use of sub-headings (eg employment history, qualifications, etc).
- Clear spacing between sections.
- Using bullet points where appropriate to keep information tidy and concise.
Try and keep it to two or three A4 pages in length. Make sure you target the information to the position and company in question.
- This should be the first section of your CV. Include name, address, phone numbers and email addresses. It is also helpful to indicate your preferred method of contact.
- You do not have to disclose your marital status, age or whether you have any dependants.
- Use these with caution. Only include a career objective in your CV if you are pursuing jobs that are consistent with it. If you apply for jobs which are unrelated to your stated career objective, your chances of getting an interview are remote.
- Start with your current or most recent job.
- Include: Job title and duration of employment, including the start date of your current job, key responsibilities, notable achievements and accomplishments: Quantify these where possible with facts and figures.
- Expand on skills used which may be relevant to the job for which you are applying.
- Keep details brief and relevant. Don't include high school and university jobs that aren't relevant to your current career unless you have just graduated.
- Make sure there are no gaps in your employment history, making references to any periods of travel in your interests and hobbies section. If there are gaps have a brief explanation for them.
- List any qualifications you have, starting with the most recent.
Personal Interests / Hobbies:
- These can help emphasise any qualities you have which may be relevant to the job you are applying for.
- You do not have to disclose these on your CV but have some ready for when you are asked to provide them. Always ask your referees' permission before you provide their details to a prospective employer.
- Know the content of your CV well.
- Try and read it from an employer's perspective or ask a friend or relative to read over it - Does it make a good first impression? Is it relevant to the job you are applying for?
- Always run a spell check on the final document.