Time to create a killer CV

You have found your ideal role and you are going to apply, but how do you make sure your CV looks the best it can for the job…
Here are a few tips to help you write your CV:

CV length…

  • Apparently, a potential employer spends on average just 8 seconds reviewing a CV so you have 8 seconds to grab their attention and not put them off.
  • You want to have a document that speaks volumes about your experience in a succinct and professional manner – we don’t believe the 2 page rule applies, but we also don’t want 10-20 pages to read.
  • You need to find a happy medium between the two, so we’d suggest between 3-5 pages is about right.


What should my CV look like?

  • It is important your CV looks smart and consistent – this document is a reflection of you. Ensure the font and size are the same throughout, and use bullet points to highlight skills, your responsibilities, achievements.
  • Write your CV in the first person – it is an account of your experience, so it is better to use ‘I’ throughout.
  • Please use the spell check tool! It does not look good at all when a CV is littered with spelling mistakes!
  • Avoid using text boxes and colours – CVs look much more professional in plain text and in black font – simple and easy to read.
  • Also bear in mind, the CV may be imported into a database which may not support PDFs, text boxes or complicated formats within Word – so keep it simple.


Different jobs require different skills…

When applying for numerous jobs, it’s a good idea to tailor your CV depending on what the job is – use the job descriptions and your knowledge about the company to enhance your current skill set and take the time to tailor your experience accordingly.


Content…

  • A personal profile – highlighting your main skills, approach to work, personality, suitability for the role
  • Contact information – phone number, email, address
  • Career history – in reverse order – including dates, company, job title, responsibilities and achievements
  • Education and qualifications – include training, any courses you have completed
  • Hobbies and interests
  • References – available upon request – it’s good to have at least 2
  • If you have any gaps, address them and make them positive – developed personal skills, completed a course, charity work, travelling etc


Conclusion…

Avoid sounding generic – you want to stand out – this is the document that will sell your skill set, demonstrate your personality and highlight your suitability.

Be honest throughout – when references are taken, you want to be known for being truthful about your experience.

If you are using LinkedIn, it is important to make sure your career history is the same on both your CV and LinkedIn profile.