TOP TIPS HOW TO WRITE A CV
So, we already know that we are looking for a new job and we already understand how job boards work. What we need to do to make sure we are visible ‘in the sea full of fish’ (meaning other candidates applying for the same roles as you do) is a CV that stands out.
When you type ‘How to write a CV’ to Google, you get over half million results.
So, how do you know which advice to follow, what is right and what is wrong?
First things first, there is no right way of writing a CV, however, there are few tips that can make it as easy as possible. Writing CV is a stressful task, but if you are prepared, it can be done quite quickly.
Remember, having a good- quality CV increases your chances of securing an interview and therefore your chances of getting your dream job.
GET YOUR DETAILS READY
Before even considering writing or updating your CV, collect all the details about your work history. It is nothing worse than sitting down and realising you can’t remember when you left your first job, what was the name of the company and what exactly did you do there. If you need to refresh your memory, have a look at your old payslips or P45s to make sure your dates match.
LAYOUT IS EVERYTHING
It has been said million times and we say it again. CVs are meant to be clearly and professionally written. Having a simple yet structured way of laying out all your details are key for being recognised by recruiters and talent teams. Stick to the professional font (e.g. Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman) and resist the urge on adding the colours, images or photos. The document should be no longer than two pages.
TAILOR IT TO THE SPECIFIC JOB
Make sure you read the job description and that you actually understand what the role involves before applying. Once you have an idea, tailor your CV based on the specifics in the description. Mentioning in your CV how you are looking for a temp Christmas job which will pay off the gifts when applying for the full-time permanent role is not only embarrassing, it also decreases your chances of being seen.
WHAT TO INCLUDE
The first thing you write down should be your name, location and contact details. Keep it clear and simple. You don’t have to title your CV ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’. Your name is your title. See it as the best marketing piece you have ever created, and you want everyone to know who is responsible for this masterpiece. After personal details, write one paragraph known as a personal statement- describing who you are, what is your profession and what are you looking for. Try to keep it original and avoid the usual clichés.
Work history should be in down in reverse chronological order, meaning the most recent first- highlighting the position you hold, the name of the company, location (if appropriate) and dates when you worked there. In addition, you want to add the main skills and responsibilities.
After work history, you would add Professional Qualification and Education. If you have a degree, you add the name of the institution, dates and degree completed. Make sure you list all the relevant qualification as this increases your chances of being seen.
Lastly, you can add on some additional details, such as Key Skills, Achievements and if relevant, Hobbies.
WHAT TO AVOID
As already mentioned, avoid adding any colours and photos to your CV. Also, do not add any personal details such as passport numbers, or marital status etc. Be mindful with whom you share such sensitive information.
If your working history is quite extensive, you can shorten or reduce some of the older (10-15year) jobs. Keep just the basics: position, company and dates. Additionally, you can leave out non-relevant jobs, but be sure to explain the gaps if this creates any.
Try to avoid the common ‘empty descriptive words’ such as ‘ trustworthy’, ‘self-motivated’, ‘flexible’, ‘excellent communicator’ ‘passionate’ etc. Employers expect you to hold all these qualities, you don’t have to highlight them. Instead, think of something that makes you, you. Think outside the box and be creative. If you want to describe yourself use an example to support your statement.
REVIEW AND PROOFREAD
Make sure you proofread your CV once finished and/ or ask someone else to read it for you. There is nothing worse than embarrassing typos on a CV.
You should also review your CV on a regular basis. Even if you are not looking for a job right now, it is good to add your current employer and add the details. You never know when you will need it, and it will be easier having it written down already.
EXPLAIN YOUR GAPS
If there are any gaps in your CV make sure you explain them, so employers don’t have to guess. Were you travelling during your Gap Year? No problem just list it down with a brief explanation.
What do you think about our tips?
Do you think we have missed something out?
Let us know what was the best tip you ever get about writing a CV?!
DO NOT LIE
People lie on their CVs. And it is more and more common as we try to impress the recruiters and people who are potentially going to offer us the job.
But remember, you may be able to hide it at the interview, but there will be nowhere to hide when someone will ask you to perform the task which you have, according to your CV, done thousands of times with no issue. If you do not know something, say it. You can teach the skills, but you cannot teach the attitude.