Is Your CV Selling You Short?

5 years ago

 

The first step on the way to landing your ideal job is to get an interview. Your CV is your brochure, a sales tool for you to sell yourself, make sure your CV gets you noticed and ensure that you are seen every time!

General CV Tips – If information is hard to find, the employer may move to the next applicant.

Basic styling. – Most employers prefer a CV that starts with your latest job and works backwards.
Ensure the structure progresses logically, keep it clean and allow plenty of white space on the CV using clear headings and breaks between each section. Ensure you just use one type of font such as Arial, Georgia or Calibri throughout.

  • Keep your CV to three pages maximum
  • Tailor your CV to the position you are applying for
  • ALWAYS include a cover letter specific to the position you are applying for.
  • Detail your achievements in each role rather than just listing your responsibilities.
  • Be careful when using abbreviations as they can be misunderstood.
  • Give a short summary about each employer – sector, products or services, turnover, no. of staff & location.
  • Your contact information should be clearly visible on the first page. Include your email address & mobile number.
  • DO NOT use company jargon on your CV.

Cover letter
A cover letter needs to say more than just ‘here is my CV’. It needs to outline why you are the ideal candidate for the job.

  • Address the letter to the contact detailed in the advert if one has been provided otherwise use ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.
  • Using the advert pick out highlights from your CV that are relevant to the specific application.
  • Detail what attracted you to this position and outline why your feel you are a serious contender.

CV Content

  • Profile/Summary

Your personal profile is your unique selling point, and it provides the employer with a snapshot of you and your career. Include qualifications relevant to your career and aspirations,

It should be a short summary of your experience, skills and abilities, and be contained in four to six lines of text. Only list the attributes that will be of interest to your next employer; do not include irrelevancies.
Sum yourself up in one sentence.

  • Achievements

List three to six achievements which you feel will be in line with your next position and any work experience you have had and a key achievement in your last position.
 Do not list achievements which are not in line with what you want to do next. Bullet point your achievements to make them stand out. Start with the strongest point in your favour and then work backwards from there.

  • Experience

This should be in reverse chronological order starting with your most recent job and working backwards. You only need to include the year you started and the year you finished each job. You do not need to include the month or day. If you have had a lot of jobs you may need to group some of the earlier jobs together, e.g. ‘1975 – 1980 various engineering positions’.

When you are describing your experience for each position you should start with the strongest point in your favour and then work backwards. If you have a lot of points to put under one specific job you may want to break this description into two or more sections. You could break up this section into responsibilities and achievements or you could break it up into specific functions, e.g. management, sales & marketing. The choice is yours! If you have had a number of positions for a particular employer you may not want to include every individual job (in which case leave out the year designations for all jobs titles and just include the start and finish years for this employer), or you may be able to combine one or more of the jobs. Highlight any promotions.

Make sure you stress your responsibilities and achievements under each job which will be useful in your next job, but do not repeat information in your CV as this will just bore the reader.

  • Training

Only include the most important training courses on your CV. You may not want to include a section on training or you may combine it with Education/Qualifications depending on how much space you have on your CV.

  • Personal Interests

 Include hobbies; highlight any team sports, showing you work well with others. Interests, memberships, do not claim too much credit.

And finally…please, please proof read – The most common mistakes usually involve spelling and grammar.


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