Why spend time on your CV? Well, until you get an interview with a potential employer, your CV is their only insight into who you are and what you have to offer. This makes your CV absolutely crucial. It’s a competitive market and if your CV doesn’t appeal to employers then you won’t get the interviews, and no interviews equals no job offers.
How to write a CV
First you need to identify your skills, qualifications and experience. What are your unique selling points and strengths? Why are you the best person for the job?
Some key points to remember
- Keep it simple. Your CV should tell your potential employer enough to gain their interest, but not so much that it bores them.
- Your CV should be concise and relevant, with a maximum of 2 pages. If you can fit it onto one page, even better!
- If you’re replying to a specific job advert, look for the key responsibilities in the advert and highlight these skills on your CV
- Keep it professional, well written and always check your spelling and grammar!
This should include your personal details, your address and contact details at the top, followed by a short profile (no more than seven lines) about you and your key skills. This profile can be tailored for each job you apply for so that it shows your skills in that area.
Next you should cover your employment history, with your most recent job first. Include your company, job title and dates worked, as well as a brief description of your role and responsibilities. If there are gaps in your employment history of more than three months then include those and explain why you weren’t working (illness, travelling, looking for a new role etc).
For your most recent positions you may want to have a few bullet points listing your most significant experiences/achievements in this role.
The next page should continue your employment history if necessary and then cover a brief summary of your education and qualifications, again in the same order.
Next you can list your hobbies and interests if you feel they are relevant or interesting, but try to keep this to a maximum of three lines. Try to be specific, don’t just say you have an interest in music for example, try to give some detail of the types of music you like and why. List any voluntary or charity work that you do as this is always a positive indicator for employers of the type of person you are.
Finally your CV should give details of two referees, at least one of which should be a recent employer. If you aren’t comfortable supplying these details immediately then you can always state that referees are available on request.
The Covering Letter
A CV always works best alongside a covering letter. The letter is your chance to ‘sell yourself’ even more and tell the employer exactly why you are the right person for the job. Try not to just repeat what is on your CV. The structure of the letter is a bit like life, it should have a beginning, a middle and an end! The actual content will also depend on the reason you are writing it.
There are two key parts to getting a job, the paper process and the people phase. We can help you with both. Our tailored CV writing service will help you stand out from other applicants so that your skills can really catch an employer’s eye. Contact Roger for more details about the different CV writing services and career change support we offer. The basic CV service starts at just £30.00.
Have you registered with us?
Be sure to register your CV with Five Rivers and one of our qualified and friendly consultants will be in touch soon.