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20 August 2020 by Lydia

With so many redundancies and job losses at the moment we thought we would share some tips on CV writing and later in the week we will share some thoughts for interviews too:

Your Curriculum Vitae is your sales brochure to prospective employers that aims to outline your key selling points, i.e. your skills, experience, strengths and achievements. You will undoubtedly be competing against other applicants so the challenge in CV writing is to be more appealing and attractive than the competition. To achieve this, your CV must make it obvious to the prospective employer that you are the right candidate for the job. By following the pointers below you are more likely to make your CV stand out from the rest and will be less likely to miss out essential information.

1.   A well-structured CV should emphasise your strengths, relevant achievements and capabilities from the outset.
Make sure it contains an easy-to-follow format with clear headings that catch the reader’s attention and assist them to find the information quickly. Use high impact, relevant and interesting facts and accomplishments that encourage them to read on. The aim of your CV is to catch their attention, create interest and a desire to call you. Consider the following layout:

·       Title - Simply use your name as the title, the reader knows it is a ‘Curriculum Vitae’.

·       Contact Details - Make sure that your contact details are clearly visible on the first page of the CV.

·       Personal Profile - Provide half a dozen relevant high impact statements that best describe you.

·       Achievements - Include several quantifiable statements outlining your major achievements that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Showing achievements that indicate you have the capabilities to match the employer's needs greatly increases your chances of being short-listed.

·       Experience (and/or Key Skills) - Include several powerful statements outlining your experience and/or your skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

·       Career History - A reverse chronological snapshot of your career history including employment dates, job titles, companies, main duties, responsibilities and accomplishments.

·       Education and Qualifications - Outline all relevant education, training and qualifications.

·       Personal Details - Keep all personal information relevant and concise.

2.     Produce a 'tailored' CV for each vacancy. Have several up-to-date CV’s that are specific to the different roles and markets you plan to target rather than a ‘one CV to fit all’ approach. Research the vacancy and organisation fully before submitting your application and shape your CV to match the post ensuring that relevant experience, qualifications and skills are clear.

3.     Be honest. Common CV inaccuracies include employment dates, job titles and qualifications. Employers check up on your claims and academic qualifications so tell the truth. Ensure that the referees you provide are prepared and able to give excellent references when asked.

4.     Keep jargon and acronyms to a minimum. Make sure that the terms you use in your CV are comprehensible.

5.     Be concise. Never use two words when one will do and make sure that your CV is a maximum of 2 sheets of A4 paper. Proofread your draft and use the spelling and grammar check on your pc to ensure that your CV is absolutely free from any errors.

6.     Do not include information that’s not relevant. Keep your CV relevant to the job you are applying for. Including personal details is a matter of choice. Some argue that personal information such as age, date of birth, marital status, children or dependents etc., could be open to discrimination by unethical employers, however would you want to work for an employer that discriminates?

7.   Only include a photograph if requested to do so. If you are required to submit a photograph as part of the application process make sure that it is one that has been taken professionally.

8.     Include a brief and professional cover letter. Use a good quality paper, ensuring that the letter includes the company name and contact top left and your address and date top right. Refer to the vacancy reference number as applicable and make certain that it is neatly laid out using simple fonts (e.g. Ariel size 10-12pt). Tailor the letter to what the job advert is seeking and make sure that that your key competences, attributes and experience are reflected. Highlight the fact that your profile fits their requirements. Make sure that it is accurately written.

By no means is this an exhaustive list. Following these helpful hints can improve the overall format of your CV making it easier to read and ensuring that essential information is not omitted. For further information on how we can help call 01992 501111 or email