The most important thing that you should remember when creating and sending out your CV is that it is the first thing that your potential new employer is going to see. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This is why it is vital that you take the time and make the effort to maximise the quality of your CV.
As recruiters, we would like to think we know what we are talking about as we see hundreds of CVs therefore we have put together a few simple steps to help!
We would advise that you limit the content of your CV – you need to consider that your employer is going to be very busy and may not have the time to sit and read your entire life story, so keep it to the point but as memorable as possible. Your CV serves the purpose of an introduction and essentially is what is going to secure you an interview, once you get to your interview then you can go into more depth.
Keep it simple, consistency is key with a CV so make sure that it follows the same format throughout, same font and don’t be afraid to use bullet points. Section breaks will make for easier reading especially for those employers that don’t have the time to read it all.
1. Contact details; Your name, email address, phone number and the area in which you live – don’t forget to change this if you move or get a new number.
2. A personal statement – this should be a few simple lines where you can begin to introduce your experience and your aspirations for the future.
3. The most important rule – order, chronological order. Always put your most recent role at the beginning and work backwards. Try not to give too much information about a temp job that you did 12 years ago, keep it relevant to the role you’re looking for.
4. Explain any gaps in your work history regardless of if it was a career break or you went off to conquer the world.
5. Education – the best way to do this is to summarise, don’t include a list of each individual grade you got at GCSE level if it is not relevant. Professional qualifications should always be included, even if you aren’t yet qualified make sure to include it.
6. References – avoid including specific contact details as these can change and declare that references are available on request. Your employer would not get references before speaking with you therefore these can be given at a later stage.
Always, always, ALWAYS check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. It doesn’t hurt to get someone else to cast their eyes over your CV just in-case they spot something you may have missed – if your employers pick up on any this may reflect badly on you.
We hope this helps, good luck with your job search!