Essential CV advice – how to make a lasting impression
Writing a good CV can be one of the most challenging things you will ever do. You must turn your life history into a one or two page advertisement that highlights a lifetime of experience, accomplishment, skills and education.
Here is some helpful advice that you should consider when writing your perfect CV:
How do you create a CV?
First of all, think about what attributes you have which make you suitable for the role you’re applying for. Understand what skills you intend to ‘sell’. You should have different CVs that fit the expectations of the industry.
What should you write?
Avoid the use of ‘I’. It’s best to write in the third person. Use simple and clear language, and stick to the point. An employer wants to identify your key skills and experiences by glancing at your CV. If it is hard to get to this information, you may be overlooked.
How much should you write?
Unfortunately a lot of CVs read like life stories. Remember, a prospective employer typically spends 2 – 4 seconds looking at a prospective application, so ensure to choose your words carefully and keep it brief. Two sides of A4 are usually best.
What should you include?
- An opening statement – a short paragraph outlining who you are and what your skills are. Identify the things that make you different from other applicants
- Personal details – this essential information should be included at the top of the first page
- Employment history – list relevant work experience in chronological order, highlighting pertinent areas of responsibility
- Education background – list all schools, colleges and specialist courses attended, along with the relevant dates and grades
- Interests and achievements – include any relevant interests, awards, achievements and skills you possess. The employer will be looking for characteristics that indicate your suitability for a particular post.
- References – Employers may wish to contact referees before offering employment. Choose people who can provide a positive and accurate representation of yourself
If you need further advice on writing the perfect CV, we offer a range of resources for candidates, including a free CV critique and writing service.