Writing a good CV – top tips
Posted on Nov 02, 2010 by Sarah Jaggers
Once you are clear about the roles you are seeking and have assessed the skills, experience and attributes you offer, you are ready to draft your CV. Here are ten top tips to help you craft an effective CV – essential in successful job hunting.
1. Your CV is a sales document - it is designed to get you an interview not a job. It therefore needs to be sufficiently relevant and attractive to grab the reader’s attention and request a meeting. What does the reader need to know?
2. Your CV should be tailored to each job you apply for, even if with minor tweaks.
3. Your CV is NOT a brief career biography or a record of everything you have ever done. The Career History section should contain your achievements and responsibilities in such a way as to demonstrate the benefits of hiring you.
4. Your CV should be brief and concise – in the UK this is ideally 2 pages and no more than 3.
5. To get an initial interview your CV must stand out from the rest – content and format are both important. Pay attention to both.
6. The top third of your first page should be used to contain the most important points of your candidature (eg., if you have excellent and relevant qualifications put them here and not at the end). If your reader likes what they see here they will read on.
7. Generally, a chronological CV is preferable to a skills based one. However if you are returning to work after a gap or looking to make a career change, you may want to use a skills based CV.
8. Your CV should begin with brief contact information: your name, telephone number(s) and email address.
9. The use of social/networking media is increasingly recognised in job hunting. Use of an appropriate online networking facility such as LinkedIn can be valuable in keeping your contacts network working for you. Once registered it can then be helpful to add your LinkedIn address to your contact information (for example, http://linkedin.com/in/yourname).
10. You do not need to put your date of birth on your CV and we would recommend that you omit this on CVs which will be uploaded onto any web-based job sites due to the real risk of identity theft.
It shouldn’t be necessary to add do ensure that your CV is grammatically accurate and that it does not contain spelling mistakes. Ensure that you run a spell checker over the document. For UK based jobs; ensure that you are using UK English (not US English). And of course it should be factually accurate and verifiable.
Using written reference material, questionnaires and worksheets our career transition programmes enable you to make effective progress while benefiting from the ongoing support and guidance of your career coach.
If you could do with help with your CV, or more generally in making a successful transition to a new role, get in touch to see how we can help T: 01954 718037 or 07711 503382
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