We are all aware how important it is to have the perfect CV, it is, after all, a potential employer's first introduction to you but how do you go about writing it? What information should you make sure it contains and what should you leave out? We at BrightonJobSearch want to help you in increasing your chances of getting that need so here are tips for making the right first impression.
We know it's obvious but a Curriculum Vitae (CV) should on all occasions be typed to give it the best ease of read possible. It should also be well presented. Think about how it appears on the page. There should be apparent headings and breaks between details. A potential employer will likely look through lots of CVs for a job so they should be able to read the important information at a glance before short listing it for a more thorough read through. A inadequately laid out CV which is not easy to read will probably end up in the bin.
Lots of employers like a CV to begin with a personal statement as it allows them to see immediately what you are about. What should this include?
Ensure you give these questions considered thought before you answer them as they probable to be questioned at interview. Here's an example of the type of thing may say:
' I am clever, a conscientious worker and serious about any challenges I come up against. My employmentto date has all been decidedly customerorientated and I find this to be very enjoyable. I have spent the last six years in a sales environment and I find enjoyable the contact with different sorts of people this brings. I feel I am intelligent and would like the opportunity to explore. During my time at Z X Estate Agents particularly enjoyed learning lots about the procedural and legal avenues of the conveyancing process and feel that I took to it quickly. I am very much keen to take on a challenging position with the chance to progress and train where possible. I am also very IT proficient and really like using computers as part of my working life.'
The next heading should be your educational history if it is especially relevant to the job to which you are applying. For example, if you have a degree in French and you are applying for a multilingual position then it is useful to state this first. However, if you feel your education is not especially significant and you are applying on the value of your experience then it is worth possibly putting your work history first.
Your education should be put in reverse order with the most recent education received at the beginning. It is unnecessary to go into huge detail here, just state where you studied and what grades you achieved. It is not necessary to put the dates of study if you do not wish to as, under the Age Discrimination Act, you are not required to make any reference to your age and including dates from which your age may be discerned. Remember to include information of any other certificates you might have received which may be relevant to the position.
Like education, it must be laid out in reverse order, the most recent or current employment first. You should give the name of the company and the period of time you worked for them (this need not be dates but you should state for how much time you were employed in that position). It is also useful to indicate where the employer was based, e.g. Brighton. You should also clearly indicate what your job title was. Underneath explain briefly what your job role was and your main tasks. This should assist a perspective employer decide whether your experience makes you suitable for their position. Try to be succinct and keep it to only relevant information.
It is not advisable to put your salary for each position undertaken on your CV as this can cause an employer to make assumptions about your suitability for a position and make negotiating your salary, where applicable, harder. The same can also be said for putting your salary expectation on your CV.
It is common for people to put a little bit of personal information, such as hobbies, on their CV. It is advisable to keep this to a minimum. You should, however, state whether you hold a driving licence and whether you own your own car etc.
Employers do not necessarily want to see photos on a CV. For most positions it is not necessary to include a photo but if you would like to it ought to be passport photo sized and professional in appearance.
It is essential that you make sure all spelling and punctuation are correct. Literacy is often highly desirable to employers so use the 'Spell Check' function on your computer.
Ask someone to read through your CV. Ask them to check it looks presentable and easy to read. They should also check your spelling and grammar.
When applying for a opening you should incorporate a covering letter. This should state why you are applying for this job in particular and a little bit about the experience and/or skills you have which would be important to them (avoid repeating too much from the CV itself).
Don't forget that it may not be 'one CV fits all', it is worth spending a few minutes reviewing your CV before each time you send it to check it makes the best impact for each particular position. You may want to think about changing some information, particularly your personal statement, to suit the job description.