A well written, well presented and relevant CV is essential to create a good impression, provoke interest, and ultimately generate interviews for you.
Writing your CV is a very important part of job hunting, it’s your 'shop window' to display your skills, experience and achievements.
Here is some advice on what to include, and how to layout your CV.
Your Address and Contact details
Make sure you have the latest contact details on your CV (name, postal address, email address, phone number).
Write one or two paragraphs and try to avoid clichés. Especially if you 'work well on your own, and as part of a team'!
What sort of person are you? What industry/sector and job roles do you specialise in?
What are your strengths, areas of expertise and experience?
You should be tailoring your CV to the job you are applying for. Pick out key words and requirements from the job description or advert, and relate them to your experience. Be honest, you will be asked for detail at an interview!
Bullet point your key achievements & skills
Summarise you career highlights first
If you're in sales, you could highlight significant deals you have delivered
If technical, highlight your qualifications and technical accomplishments
Summarise any relevant company & industry awards
Any relevant life achievements and experiences could also help
Keep it brief. You can elaborate in the interview
Keep your professional experience relevant to the role. If your CV runs into multiple pages because of a large number of roles and experience gathered, you could summarise or remove the roles that aren’t relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Include a quick summary of the company followed by the main focus of your role.
Highlight everything you accomplished during your time in the job that made you stand out. What did you achieve over and above the norm? Avoid writing your job description.
Continue to include roles that are relevant to your job application.
A great opportunity to demonstrate that you or your previous/current employers have invested time and money in helping you become more skilled in your field.
Including your professional qualifications can be especially important when it’s a minimum requirement of the role. Pre-Sales and Post-Sales support are good examples of this.
Your education should be listed in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions and the dates you were there, followed by the grades you achieved.
You don’t have to list all your interests and hobbies. However, this is your chance to include some of your personality in your CV. Recruiting managers and HR teams will want to know a little about you outside of the working environment. A quick paragraph on the things you are passionate about can go a long way to help you stand out from the crowd, especially if your hobbies relate to the industry/role you’re going into.
Your referees should include your previous employers or your educational tutors.
Or, if you’re short on space, simply state, 'References available upon request'.
The way your CV is presented is very important, keep it ‘clean and simple’ and free from grammar and spelling mistakes. It’s advisable to have somebody else proofread your CV.
If you’re registered on any professional networking sites, Linkedin for example, remember to keep your profile up to date and professional.
Before you begin your job search you might want to consider your 'personal' social media profile. It’s advisable that you take a 'safety first' approach, and become familiar with all the available privacy settings. As your career blossoms, make sure you review your social media presence on a frequent basis.