Your CV is your most important asset in the job-seeking process as, if done correctly, it is an ideal platform to showcase your skills, experience and qualifications. A well written and presented CV will put you at a distinct advantage when it comes to being noticed by employers. While your CV will consist of a specific and brief snapshot of your career to date, it will provide a good basis of points on which to expand in your interview. Below, we have provided some CV preparation advice to ensure that your CV stands out and will offer you a distinct advantage in the jobs market.
CV Format and Presentation
Your CV should be written in black text on white paper/background.
Use the same stationery/format for your cover letter
Ensure that your CV is neat and concise using bullet points where possible as opposed to lengthy paragraphs
Your contact details are vital so make sure that these are correct on both your cover letter and CV.
Spelling & Grammar
Spelling or grammatical errors should never appear on a CV so ensure that you run a spell-check and read over your CV multiple times before submitting it for review
Your personal details and contact details should appear first
A brief personal profile should come next and include your education and qualifications
The main body of the CV should include your career history and be presented in reverse chronological order with your most recent employer first
Timeline and Breaks
There should be no unexplained gaps on your CV. If you took a career break, time off for personal reasons or were travelling, explain that in your CV. No matter what the reason for these breaks/gaps, you must inform employers as to why they appear.
Ensure that you do not allow dates on your career timeline to overlap or conflict as this will also raise questions with the employer
Hobbies and Interests
This section should appear towards the end of your CV. It is a great opportunity to show off your personality outside of the work environment and prove to an employer that you are a “well-rounded” candidate.
Always be honest – do not provide false information to try to come across as more interesting or talented.
Know Your CV Inside Out
You must be aware of every aspect of your CV, ensuring that you are prepared to expand on any point that the employer might ask about. Do not assume that any points are off limit or won’t be of interest to the employer as they may indeed question those points
If you have received or been nominated for an award, include this in your CV. The achievements should always be relevant and such accolades will show the employer that you are driven and a high-achiever
This should appear last on your CV. You can include the title, name and contact details of your referees or a common alternative is to say ‘References are available upon request”
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