Your CV is the first thing you have to sell yourself to a prospective employer. It takes time to prepare but is worth planning carefully and taking your time to get it right.
You want your prospective employer to have a concise and easy to read summary of your qualifications, experience and to highlight your suitability for a particular role.
The following guidelines should help you with the layout, what information to include and in which order.
- Try to have your CV fit to no more than 2 pages long, 3 at a push. This should ensure that you keep things brief and concise (We would recommend using Microsoft Word as a standard).
- Use quality white or cream paper (do not use coloured or patterned paper) when printing.
- CV should be prepared with a single type font and consistently sized headings.
- Keep your CV concise and to the point, keep descriptions to the basic facts and use bullet points where possible.
- Be honest and accurate – you may be asked to elaborate details at interview. This is also vital for dates of employment and qualifications.
- Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for, highlighting relevant experience and suitability.
- Always prepare rough drafts of your CV before printing a final version. It may take a few attempts but it’s worth it!
Your CV should include:
- FULL NAME, LOCATION (Town, County and Postcode are sufficient) & CONTACT DETAILS (including mobile and email address)!
- PERSONAL PROFILE
A short paragraph emphasising key strengths including your professional and personal attributes, such as: good communicator, confident, team player, ability to work to deadlines etc… Also include what you are looking for in your new role i.e. career progression, learn new skills or to enhance current skills.
- SELLING POINTS
Key achievements and situations that will show your prospective employer how you can bring experience and knowledge to the role. Keep this brief and to one paragraph.
- CAREER HISTORY
Start with your most recent job and work backwards. There should be no unaccountable gaps in your employment history. If there is a break in employment (generally anything longer than a month of two) state the dates and why. You should include company name and location, exact dates of employment, main duties and responsibilities and achievements. Keep details brief and try not to be repetitive.
In order of most recent: Name of School, College or University, Dates Attended, courses taken and qualifications gained.
- ADDITIONAL TRAINING/QUALIFICATIONS
Include any relevant additional information such as workshops attended or any internal training/courses and professional or specialist qualifications. Also use this section to detail any software packages or ‘in house’ systems you are familiar with.
These give an insight into your personality and pursuits outside the workplace. Make sure information you include is current and truthful. A potential employer may want to discuss these with you at interview.
Specify names and addresses of two referees. If you have very little work experience you may want to include a college/university tutor instead. An alternative and preferred option initially is to write ‘references available upon request’. Always ensure that the people you have named as referees are aware that they may be contacted.
When you are happy with your completed CV, check carefully for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Then check it again! Mistakes on a CV will be spotted by a potential employer and can make the difference as to whether you are invited to attend interview or not.
Response Personnel Ltd truly believe that preparation is the key to success, so please take time to read through all the information provided. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information and assistance.