Your CV will generally be the first time that a company has heard of you and that first impression will be a lasting one. There are no second chances...
Formatting your CV and what to include:
Your CV should be split into two defined areas: 'Personal Details' followed by your 'Career History'.
If your career has spanned over a long period of time, employers will want to see the most detail pertaining to recent positions. Summarise earlier positions to show career progression.
Keep qualifications to your professional qualifications and highest academic qualifications. If your career has only been for a short period, you are a recent graduate or a school leaver, then ensure that you have a good balanced overview of your qualifications and achievements.
You should always ensure that you adapt and tailor your CV for the position that you are applying for. There may be some of your skills or experiences that need to be highlighted and shown more because of their relevance to the company, the role or the sector.
Important things to do
- Do ensure that you keep your CV to a maximum of 2-3 pages long
- Do make sure that the content flows and that it is in chronological order
- Do always start with your most recent position
- Do use bullet points whenever you can, as this is easier to read
- Do make sure that the details are concise, accurate and to the point
- Do list your key strengths and achievements in your positions, career and education
- Do include any projects you have undertaken, implemented or led
- Do try and indicate what you have made, saved or achieved for an organisation
- References; If you have already sought permission, name the referee details, otherwise state ‘reference available upon request’
Important things NOT to do
- Do not give any false information what so ever, it is easily found out
- Do not write lengthy paragraphs
- Do not omit any period of employment for whatever reason, as this may prove awkward at interview. Make sure your time is accountable
- Do not use jargon or abbreviations. If this is unavoidable give some kind of explanation, so it makes sense to the reader
- Do not try and fill up space by putting in unnecessary information it will be noticeable straight away
- Do not put your weaknesses on your CV
- Do not send your CV to a prospective employer without spell checking it first and ensure that it makes a clear representation of you
- Do not put down an in-depth description of every role if you have had more than three. The earlier ones need just basic notes as employers want to see details pertaining to your most recent positions
- Do not put remuneration details, as this will be discussed in the interview process
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