An employer will take only minutes to decide if they want to see you based on your CV so we probably don’t need to tell you that your CV is your essential marketing tool.
It must be right the first time...
Here are some essential design elements for any good CV:
- Restrict your CV to two to three pages maximum. The information needs to be clear and concise to create a good impact
- Avoid jargon or clichés, these only distract the reader
- Use one clear standard font, for example Arial. Bolding and underlining can be used for formatting but don’t overdo it
- Keep the font size consistent
- Use bullet points where possible
In the world of CV’s, content is key...
- Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. Remember one size does not fit all when it comes to CVs
- Open your CV with your name and contact details. Make sure they’re clearly visible and triple check your address and phone number to make sure they’re correct
- Repeat your name on every page and number the pages
- Write a strong profile/ summary at the beginning of your CV. This should highlight your skills and achievements
- Break your content into four key sections:
- Personal Information – full contact details
- Employment History
- Place all your experiences in reverse chronological order including start and finish dates, size and scope of responsibilities and achievements. If there are any large gaps in employment, provide an explanation
- Give more space to your most recent position
- Leave personal details such as interests to the end. If in doubt about including these, leave them out
- Sell yourself! Showcase your skills and achievements but be honest, you will need to support these achievements with facts
- Include salary information in your covering letter, not your CV. Be prepared to discuss your salary with your Austin Benn consultant
And when you have finished, make sure you do the final checks:
- Check thoroughly for any errors in spelling or grammar. Get a friend or colleague to review the final proof and give you constructive feedback
- Check that you have included all your relevant skills – this must be relevant to the job you are applying for