When applying for jobs you need to create a positive impression on the employer and your CV is your way of doing this. The employer’s initial perceptions will be based on the information you supply and so it is important to make sure your CV contains everything that is needed.
Detailed below are some tips and advice on your presenting your CV and the information that should be included in order to make the right impression.
CV Hints and Tips
Remember to keep your CV concise and to the point. You should highlight your experience and skills without adding unnecessary details.
The look of your CV is very important. Make sure you spend time on the layout so that the information you are including is clear and concise. Sentences should be kept short, while formatting (bold, italics, etc) and bullet points can highlight the important parts of your experience. Also ensure the layout is well spaced as a cluttered page will not encourage recruiters to read it!
Make sure you include a brief summary at the start of your CV. Recruiters have limited time and will use the summary to make sure you have the skills they are looking for. When applying for a job, you should always adjust the summary to tie your experience in to the position requirements.
Gaps in CV’s can make recruiters suspicious so don’t have any in your work history. If you’ve had periods of unemployment try to be positive about them by highlighting any personal experience or qualifications you have developed during that time.
Make sure your CV is truthful as employers will check the information you have supplied. Recruiters will also be quick to spot any inconsistencies at interview so it is better to be upfront from the beginning.
Adapt your CV to the role you are applying for. You need to show the company you are the best person for the job so make sure you highlight where your experience that matches the job advert.
Make sure your have thoroughly checked your CV for mistakes and omissions. Use a spellchecker if your English is not good or get someone else to proofread it for you.
You should always make sure your CV is up-to-date. Even while you are working, make sure you update your CV so that none of your achievements are forgotten.
When listing your achievements and experience, try to include ‘numbers’. For example, if the health and safety program you have implemented has reduced accidents, don’t just say that. Tell the recruiter that accidents have reduced by 80% in the three months since it was implemented.
Your CV MUST always include your name, address, telephone number and email address. Don’t think that because your cover letter holds this information the CV doesn’t need it. Many recruiters will upload your CV to a searchable database and discard your cover letter.
Your age, nationality, marital status, passport number and driving licence information is optional. If a recruiter needs to know this information they will contact you.
Ensure your work experience is shown in reverse chronological order (most recent job first.) Use short sentences to highlight your experience and key achievements and include keywords that will ensure recruiters find you when searching for candidates with a specific type of experience.
Give brief details of your academic and professional qualifications and if you include specific skills such as IT languages, let the recruiter know the level of experience you have (e.g. basic, advanced, etc)
Recruiters need to know they can contact referees about you and your experience. There is no need to list the contact details on your CV, but you should let the recruiter know that references can be supplied on request.