When applying for a new job, spending time to create an effective CV is pivotal, as it could be the difference between you getting an interview, and not getting one. You should never have just one CV and then fire it out to as many jobs as possible. 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 you applied for.

Any business that is recruiting wants to think that their job is your perfect career move, and your application should be tailored specifically to them.  One of the easiest ways of doing this is to have a strong CV and cover 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 on 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 vacancy then perhaps place them after your career history near the end; If they are very important and key to the role you are applying for, then place them front and center, straight after your profile paragraph.

Skills

In this section, you can mention all of your skills that are not necessarily used daily within the workplace. i.e. mail merge, audio typing, creating databases, building computers 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, SAP etc”.

Achievements

With the achievements section, you should mention at least two work-based achievements in which you can demonstrate your attitude & approach to your work. Such as setting up a new system or process. Solving a difficult problem, winning an award, saving money, and finding efficiencies. These should be no longer than 4/5 lines for each one (be specific and give the full outline of what you did and the result. Quantify with numbers where you can).

Career History

Start with your most recent position first and go back in date order, using full dates where you can, the company you worked for, and your job title.

Your duties should be bullet-pointed and be specific about each one. i.e do not just write “minuting meetings”. Try and quantify where you can, think about this in terms of frequency, volume & level “minuting weekly board level meetings with twelve directors in attendance”.  For your most recent position, you should have around half a page of duties if this is relevant to the new job you want to apply for and its the direction your career is going in.

Interests

It’s 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 and shows more of your behavior and attitude.

Please keep your CV in one font style, but use italics 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 it’s not the end of the world. However, if you are starting 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, in your words. Always get a friend or family member to read it for you and see if it makes sense. Check the spelling and grammar and do not use terminology. Word your CV in generic terms and make sure that you proofread it before you send it out. Ive seen so many job seekers get looked over for a job because of bad spelling or grammar on their CV.

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.

You could also start preparing for an interview from the outset as you may only get a couple of days’ notice and you want to know as much about the business, hiring manager, and job as possible before you go and meet them.

For a helpful template to use for your CV please click on this link:  Write an effective CV.

You can view all of our available jobs here or contact a member of the team for more support in your job search.