Your CV is usually the first contact you will have with a potential employer. It should, therefore; be concise, well-written and professionally presented. While a good CV alone won’t get you a job, it will definitely determine whether or not you are invited for an interview. A recruiter will rarely spend more than 30 seconds reading a CV, so your challenge is to grab their attention – fast! Don’t make the employer work hard to find the details they are looking for. This is your first opportunity to ‘sell’ yourself and shine as a candidate, so take full advantage.
A company will usually receive numerous CVs in response to a job advertisement, especially if it is in the press. With so many CVs to compete against, you need to ensure that yours stands out. The good news, at least from your point of view, is that most CVs are poorly written so a little thought and effort invested in producing an outstanding CV is time well spent.
What should feature in your CV? Begin by considering your key competencies, responsibilities and experience. Analyse your abilities – what is likely to make you stand apart from other candidates?
Include your name, address, telephone number, mobile number, email, work permit (if required).
You may also wish to include your date of birth and nationality, although these are not obligatory.
Your personal statement should be concise, well-written and get straight to the point and should neatly encapsulate your relevant skills and experience. The reader must be able to gain a positive snapshot of your strengths in a matter of seconds so there is no room for wasted words. Your personal statement should be completely honest, because if your description of yourself doesn't live up to your performance at an interview it will work against you.
Education and Qualifications:
|Secondary Education||G.C.S.E. / O Levels||Subjects and grades|
|Further Education||A. Levels / NVQs etc||Subjects and grades|
|Higher Education||Degree(s)||Full degree title and grade|
Start with your most recent. Include:
Date started / Date finished
Outline of duties:
Keep this section relevant and short. If your duties were extensive, use bullet points.
Be concrete and specific. Reinforce everything with quantifiable facts and figures, including budgets and outcomes. Make your skills and achievements plausible.
Hobbies and Interests:
Contrary to popular belief, hobbies and interests are not an important element of a CV, although they can give a recruiter some idea about your personality, leadership potential and team working skills, so they should not be ignored. But only give enough detail to get your point across – for example, if you were captain of the college basketball team, they will not need to know how many games you played and who you won against, etc. If they are interested in such details, they will ask you at the interview.
Unless asked for, references need not be included with a CV. Simply mention that references are available on request. If they need them, recruiters will usually ask for references at a later stage.