first of all it is important we know what a CV is all about so we can have a proper understanding of what this article is about
WHAT IS A CV?
A CV, means curriculum vitae. A CV is a document used to apply for jobs. It gives you the chance to summarise your education, skills and experience enabling you to successfully sell your abilities to potential employers. Alongside your CV employers also usually ask for a cover letter.
In the USA and Canada CVs are known as résumés. These documents tend to be more concise and follow no particular formatting rules.
In summary a CV Or Resume is a document that let you sell your abilities, skills, educational level in a brief and summarized manner
How long should a CV be?
Normally a CV shouldn’t be longer than two sides of A4.
Most times one side of A4 doesn’t contain all necessary information. In some cases one side A4 won’t be a bad because they might not be enough things to write about yourself. For example a school leaver or recent graduate with minimal experience may only need to use one side of A4. Although not used as often, a three-page CV might be needed for those in high-level roles or for people who have gained a lot of experience or worked in multiple jobs over the last five to ten years. It is very important to kill keep your CV short, brief but don’t sell your experience short. Sell your experiences to the maximum level
To save space only include the main points of your education and experience. Stick to relevant information and don’t repeat what you’ve said in your cover letter
What to include in your CV
- Contact details: this includes your name, Contact phone number, address in most cases your Date of birth isn’t important or else other wise. You don’t need to attach a passport or photograph
- profile: this is where your attributes are being stated out in concise form. Most times it is placed at the beginning of a CV it picks out a few relevant achievements and skills, while expressing your career aims. A good CV profile focuses on the sector you’re applying to, as your cover letter will be job-specific. Keep CV personal statements short and snappy – 100 words is the perfect length.
- Education: this contains all your educational achievements up to highest level of educational achievement. Place the most recent first. Include qualification type/grades, and the dates..
- Work experience – all the experience you act acquired and all the places you have worked should be listed in this place according to reverse order. Making sure that anything you mention is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Include your job tittle, your relevance in the Job and how long you worked for
- Skills and achievement: mention things tiff achieved and your skills. It could be your skills in IT package or ability to speak foreign language. Have prove to back up your claim
- Interest: what you like doing should be mentioned here. Going to the cinema, visiting the museum, travelling and meeting new people. If you enjoy writing this can give them a good view of Who you are and thus you might be considered
- Reference: this isn’t necessary but it’s fine if you include it. Include people who can attest for good conduct and behavior. A top person in a working environment would be better
- Avoid titling the document ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV‘. It’s a waste of space. Instead let your name serve as the title.
- Section headings are a good way to break up your CV. Ensure they stand out by making them larger (font size 14 or 16) and bold.
- Avoid fonts such as Comic Sans. Choose something professional, clear and easy to read such Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. Use a font size between 10 and 12 to make sure that potential employers can read your CV. Ensure all fonts and font sizes are consistent throughout.
- List everything in reverse chronological order. Then the recruiter sees your work history and most recent achievements first.
- Keep it concise by using clear spacing and bullet points. This type of CV layout allows potential employers to skim your CV and quickly pick out important information first.
- Name the document when saving – Don’t just save as ‘Document 1’. Make sure the title of the document is professional and identifies you, such as ‘Joe-Smith-CV’.
- Unless the job advert states differently (for example, it may ask you to provide your CV and cover letter as a Word document) save with a .PDF file extension to make sure it can be opened and read on any machine.
- If you’re posting your CV, print it on white A4 paper – Only print on one side and don’t fold your CV – you don’t want it to arrive creased.
How to write a good CV
- Use active verbs when possible. For example, include words like ‘created’, ‘analysed’ and ‘devised’ to present yourself as a person who shows initiative.
- A good CV doesn’t have any spelling or grammar mistakes. Use a spell checker and enlist a second pair of eyes to check over the document.
- Avoid generic, over-used phrases such as ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’ and ‘multitasker’. Instead, provide real-life examples that demonstrate all of these skills.
- Tailor your CV. Look at the company’s website and social media accounts, look to see if they’ve recently been mentioned in the local press and use the job advert to make sure your CV is targeted to the role and employer.
- Create the right type of CV for your circumstances. Decide whether the chronological, skills-based or academic CV is right for you.
- Make sure your email address sounds professional. If your personal address is inappropriate create a new account for professional use.
- Don’t lie or exaggerate on your CV or job application. Not only will you demonstrate your dishonesty to a potential employer, but there can be serious consequences too. For example, altering your degree grade from a 2:2 to a 2:1 is classed as degree fraud and can result in a prison sentence.
- If posting your CV online don’t include your home address, as you could be targeted by fraudsters.
- Always include a cover letter unless the employer states otherwise. It will enable you to personalise your application. You can draw attention to a particular part of your CV, disclose a disability or clarify gaps in your work history.
With these simple steps you I’m certified that when next you want to get your CV done you know the necessary ingredients to spice up your CV to make it tasty enough for you to be considered for your dream job.
In case you made any mistake you can simply go back to your drawing board and make corrections where corrections should be made.