Up against a deadline for a job application/ Got writers block? Don’t know where to start with your CV? Fear not! We’ve compiled our tips for a great CV:
- Start by writing a list of your career to date. Go right back to your school days, making a note of the year you started and then completed at educational level, college/university and moving into employment. It’s important to list these in chronological order, as prospective employers will be looking to see what you have done from one year to the next. Remember to include part-time or temporary employment too – it all adds to your experience!
- Next, write a list of your achievements and qualifications – for example GCSC/A-levels, any courses you may have completed (first aid course, health and safety at work etc).
- You want to sell yourself and mention all the great achievements you’ve made from your career to date. You may have helped to generate extra revenue, delivered an intense project or hit sales targets. Mention statistics and tactical examples where you can.
- The first thing any employer should read on your CV is a statement about you – we call it a ‘personal profile’. This should be just a few sentences about your chosen career path to date, your attributes and skills and a direct insight of where you want your career to go. For example, ‘a forward-thinking project manager, looking for new contracts in the financial sector’. It’s your chance to sell yourself within the first 20-seconds of the reader going through your CV.
- You can now insert your education and career list to date (remember your current employment if you are in a role) and achievements.
- Finally, let’s hear more about you – hobbies/interests, what do you enjoy in your free time, any unusual after work activities. Just a brief paragraph will give your CV a flavour of your personality. PS* don’t mention ‘going down to the pub with my mates’.
- References – some people love them some don’t – if you have some strong, genuine people who can support you with a good reference, include their information. If you are unsure, it’s ok to make a statement saying ‘references available upon request.
- Next on our list of tips for a great CV, is to spell check and proof-read for punctuation and grammar. Every. Single. Word. It may take a little time, but it’ll be worth it when you are sitting in an interview room.
- Add some colour – if you’re not confident on graphic design software, why not experiment with Word. Nothing too bold, just clean lines or highlighting sub-headings with a little colour will make your CV pop out amongst others. Avoid neon’s – go for corporate navy’s, purple or brown.
That’s our tips for a great CV, however we know it’s not as easy as it sounds. We’re on hand to help with your CV whenever you need us. Find out what we do in the CVs and more section.