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CV Writing Tips
Writing a great CV is important for any position you are applying for, this is what the employer sees first and this will determine whether you are called in for an interview or placed on the negative pile.
You need to put yourself in the employer’s shoes for a minute and think what you would want to see on a CV, what achievements and work experience would highlight that you are the right person for the position?
What to Add to Your CV
Every CV will need your personal information and contact telephone number, your past working experience and any college or school education. Always ensure that you don’t fill the CV with unnecessary frills and fuss, it’s a business document that is showcasing your abilities in the hope that you are awarded a position in the company (not your life story!).
Your CV should be a concise list of your working achievements, where you have worked and any relevant information to the position being advertised.
Don’t attach a photograph unless the advertisement clearly asks you to do so, keep the CV short and to the point and you will have a winning formula.
Make Your CV Interesting And Emphasize Ability
The aim of your CV is to stand out against everyone else applying for the same position, but how do you do this? The first step is to make your CV interesting, everyone can list their previous employment and the duties they were responsible for, but why not emphasise your abilities?
If you were responsible for a certain business area and you contributed to growth or cost reductions – highlight these points. Keep them short but ensure they are there to show the prospective employer that you are capable of.
Write a New CV for Every Job Application
In most cases, using one CV for all job applications is a mistake. One should always aim their CV at the specific job they are applying for. Even though all the jobs may be in the same industry or sector, each one will require different skills, different achievements and different working experiences.
Take the time to read the job advertisement carefully to determine exactly what the employer is looking for and to ensure that you meet their requirements. Then start writing your CV, listing your previous work experience and ensuring that your skill sets are highlighted according to the job advertised. You will find that all the positions advertised for the work you are looking for will require similar skills, but some will be worded differently. It’s important to take this into consideration and then write your CV accordingly.
Be as honest as possible about your abilities – any discrepancies will only show up at the interview stage, or even worse, when you actually win the job.
There is a specific way a CV should be written, this not only makes it visually appealing but also makes it easy for an employer to read. Bear in mind that they have probably received a wealth of applications; they are going to scan over the CV’s and then make a decision on who to call in for an initial interview.
Use a decent size font to make your CV easier to read (size eleven is the smallest you should consider). Making the font as small as possible to fit more information onto your CV, not only makes the CV look busy, but can also be difficult for the employer to read when scanning through the applications.
Never name your CV as Curriculum Vitae or CV on the top, rather use your name in bold as the heading. Follow this with a summary about yourself, your abilities and accomplishments.
Only ever include the past ten years of employment, put them with the latest job first followed by the others. You don’t need to include your reason for leaving or salary earned. Use bullet points when stating your duties, this makes it easier to read and it looks appealing to the employer.
Don’t ever use slang, ensure your wording is correct and concise, don’t drag out sentences. Keep all sentences short and to the point, remember this is your first contact with the employer, if you are called in for an interview you can go into your past work experience and achievements in greater detail.
Add your education and any academic achievements; this is essential for some positions where they require a university or college degree. Ensure that any achievements are highlighted.
Ensure your personal information is included – a contact telephone number, postal address and email address is often enough, along with your date of birth. At this point you do not need to include your National Insurance number; this can be given when you start work. Some employers may request this information at the interview; this is to ensure that you are eligible to work in the UK.
Keep your CV to less than two pages – use bullet points and paragraphs to increase readability. Bear in mind that most employers will give your CV a few minutes of their time – ensuring that is short and concise will increase the chance of them seeing your key selling points.
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