When applying for a new job, having a good CV is pivotal as it could be the difference between you getting an interview and not getting one. You should never just have one CV and fire it out to as many jobs as possible as this will result in hardly any interview requests, or you will fall into the trap of asking the person calling you to remind you which job it was that you applied for…..
Any business that is recruiting wants to think that their job is your perfect career and your application should be tailored specifically to them. One of the easiest ways of doing this is having a strong CV and covering letter. I have a few key tips below that could help you with your CV:
Have your Name & Address on the front page at the top along with 3 ways to contact you. (mobile, home number & email) n.b if you do not have a professional email address, set one up specifically for your job search, DO NOT USE YOUR CHILDHOOD EMAIL IF IT IS NOT PROFESSIONAL.
Profile – Write a profile / introductory paragraph including the reason for your search, what type of role you are looking for & a little bit about your work ethic or approach to work. Try not to use empty words in this section like “forward thinking etc” make this as relevant as possible to the job you are applying for.
Education / Qualifications – These should always be on your CV, however it depends how relevant they are to the job you are applying for as to where you place them. If they are not integral to the job then perhaps have them after your career history near the end; however, if they are important & relevant to the role you are looking for then have them after your profile on the first page.
Skills & achievements – In this section you can mention all of the skills you have in which you do not necessarily use on a daily basis within the work place. i.e mail merge, audio typing etc (again tailor for the job you want to apply for). Also list all of the computer skills you have. i.e “MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, SAP, Sage line 50 etc”.
With achievements, you want to mention at least two work-based achievements in which you can demonstrate your attitude & approach to your work. i.e setting up of a new system or process. Solving a difficult problem, winning an award etc. These should be no longer than 4/5 lines for each one.
Career History – Start with your most recent position first & go back in date order, please use full dates where you can, the company you worked for & your job title. Your duties need to be bullet pointed & you will need be specific about each one. i.e do not just write “minuting meetings”. Try & quantify where you can, think about this in terms of frequency, volume & level. i.e “minuting weekly board level meetings with twelve directors in attendance”. Make sure that for your most recent position you have given around half a page of duties, especially if this is the direction your career is going in.
Interests – It is always a good idea to include a paragraph about your interests, as it is a little bit about your personality at the end of your CV.
Please keep your CV as one font style, but use italic or bold to differentiate between the sections. If you have a long career history, you do not need to keep your CV to one or two pages. If it happens to roll onto a third, then this is not the end of the world. However, if you are just starting out in your career, you do not want a CV that is over 2 pages. Use your common sense. A CV needs to be personal to you, with your words. Always get a friend or family member to read it for you & see if it makes sense. Check the spelling & grammar & do not use terminology. Word your CV in generic terms & make sure that you proofread it before you send it out.
Your cover letter should back up your CV and outline why you want to apply and why you think you are suitable for the role.
For a helpful template to use for your CV please click on this link: Write an effective CV