How many times have you sent your CV when applying for a new job? Hundreds probably, but how often do you think it actually gets read? Well, it’s thought that whether a prospective employer reads your CV depends on how well written it is.
There isn’t just one single template that will mean you have the best CV, it all depends on what you include and how you lay it out. However, there are some basic criteria that you should try and stick to.
Type it: There is a common misconception that handwriting a CV makes it more personal. This is not the case at all. In fact, handwriting can often send your CV to the bottom of the pile. If you want your CV to get noticed, it should be typed using a standard, easy-to-read font.
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Keep it short: When hundreds or thousands of people are sending CVs for one job, employers don’t have the time to read reams of paper. Try and keep your CV to one or two sides of A4 – this will also show that you are able to highlight important information.
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Spellcheck: In this day and age, there is absolutely no excuse for poor spelling and grammar. As you should be using a computer to type your CV, make sure you use spellcheck before saving and printing. Typos are one of the biggest turn offs for any employer.
Tailor it: If you’re applying for several different jobs, you should have a different CV for each one. Your CV should be tailored towards the position you are applying for, emphasising your skills and experience in that area. Before writing your CV, research up to five adverts for similar jobs to get an idea of what the recruiter is looking for from a candidate. Make your job search cheaper by getting broadband for £27 a month with Hyperoptic voucher codes.
Don’t forget the basics:
You would probably be surprised at the number of applicants that send in a CV and don’t provide any contact information. If the employer can’t reach you – you won’t get the job. While I’m on the subject of contact information – make sure you pick a sensible e-mail address. Something containing your full name is probably the best bet, but whatever you do don’t use anything like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Personal information: name, address, phone number, e-mail address and social media profile (where applicable). Don’t forget that you no longer need to include a date of birth.
- Employment history: start with your current or most recent job. Make sure you include all dates, temporary and voluntary work, and explain any gaps in your employment.
- Qualifications and training: list all of your education and any training or qualifications you have received throughout your employment.
- Interests: only list anything that is relevant to the job, e.g. being a member of a sports team shows teamwork.
- References: include two, but try and ensure that one of your references is your current or most recent employer.
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TIP: Read the instructions on how to apply for the job as CVs are often not accepted. If you send a CV instead of completing the employer’s application form, your application may not be considered.
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By Jemma Porter, 3rd April 2013