We have put together a few guidelines in building the perfect CV that will give you the edge over the competition out there in that minefield of applying for the perfect job. We want to help you to sell yourself through your CV as we know how daunting and even difficult it can seem.
General rules to remember
A CV does not need to contain details about everything you have ever done. If you have large periods where you were without employment then reference a reason for this, full circumstance are not needed, if employers need more information they will ask.
Writing the CV
Where to start?
We would recommend with your own Personal details, this seems obvious I know but you would be surprised to learn how many CV’s we have seen over the years without their name, email address or even a contact number.
- Make it easy for prospective employers by having your full name, address, email address and your preferred contact telephone number (mobile usually best as they may wish to call you for an informal chat). It would also be good to include any professional social media presence as a growing number of employers are using social media to assess a good candidate fit.
- Due to age discrimination rules a date of birth or age is no longer necessary so this would be a personal choice.
Make a Personal Statement
- Let your Personality Shine next with a personal statement that grabs attention from the start. This should be ideally be tailored to suit the job you are applying for, for example you are applying for a complete industry change it would be wise to mention transferable skills that would be useful for that industry. Use this space to “show off” by speaking about your achievements (personal and professional) such as targets were exceeded, or ideas created and your goals for your professional career.
- Ideally your CV should put you in pole position with you as the strongest candidate as highlighting the experience that is relevant for the job in hand, again consider adding any transferable skills including personal projects and even voluntary positions held both past and present. List your experience in Chronological order starting with most recent or current position. Ensure to include Employer, Job Title, a brief summary of responsibilities and the start and finish date of employment.
- Make sure that the job title and employment dates are accurate and take your time over description of duties/responsibilities and try to look over them from a 3rd party point of view to ensure fully that your description is understood. Use examples that would highlight your hard work, persistence and of course your passion.
Education & Skills
- Include your qualifications in order of the most recent and relevant first, also include educational institutions where qualifications gained with dates of achievements.
If you have a PhD for example, give the full title of the PhD and reference names of supervisors.
- If you are currently working on a qualification, please mention this also but make it clear that you have not yet completed and where possible give a time frame of expected finish date.
Be sure to pick out the key skills gained from any qualifications that you feel may be important for the position you are applying for.
Interests & Hobbies
- Although it is not necessary to mention any interests or hobbies, however it can help set you apart from other candidates but please be careful to be mindful of how those may look to a 3rd party who doesn’t know you.
- Do not put names or contact telephone numbers before seeking permission from a reference.