The art of great CV writing
The power of a well written CV can transform your life by opening doors to new career paths and opportunities, but how can you make your CV the best it can be?
Creating a good CV isn’t difficult, just follow our easy step-by-step guide.
What information should you include?
It’s vital that your CV answers all the questions a recruiter needs to know, but what information should you include?
You should include your full name and your current home address followed by your mobile number and email address. This information is required for every job application though some may need more personal details.
For example, if you apply for a modelling or acting job it is likely that you need to include your date of birth and attach a photograph.
In this section you should include a concise statement about your best attributes and reasons for deciding to work in a particular industry. You should highlight any achievements and skills that are relevant to the job you have applied for.
Remember to keep this part short and straight to the point – many candidates choose to organise their profile into a list for easier reading. Your cover letter can add detail to any points you mention here.
This part is very self-explanatory – just list and date all schools, universities and training courses you have completed or are in the process of doing. This section should be organised with the most recent education at the top.
When writing your previous experience make sure to only include previous work that is relevant to the job you are applying for.
In some cases, your work experience section should come before the education part, for example if you have a lot of previous experience.
Skills and achievements
This is the part where you can really impress the recruiter and stand out from the crowd. If you speak any foreign languages or if you are skilled in a specific computer software – now is the time to tell your reader about it.
However, you should be careful to avoid embellishing the truth as any skills you highlight here are likely to be followed up in the interview, especially if your named skill seems unrealistic.
Your genuine interests may include watching Family Guy reruns, however we both know that this activity isn’t going to impress the recruiter. As discussed in this article previously, you should only include information that is relevant to the job you are applying for. This section gives you the opportunity to express your personality and characteristics to the recruiter, so they have more than just your past education and employment to consider.
For example, if you’re applying for a journalist vacancy you should include writing in your interests’ section (and if you don’t enjoy writing you probably shouldn’t apply to work as a journalist).
Most job hunters don’t realise that they don’t need to include their referees’ names at this stage. Instead you should write “references available upon request” as your potential employer would already assume that this is the case.
How should you format your CV?
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – but potential employers will judge the appearance of your CV. You should use professional looking fonts, such as Arial in size 10 or 11 instead of Comic Sans.
Your CV shouldn’t be an essay, keep it concise by only including the most relevant information. You should take advantage of bullet points to help organise your information in an easy to read format because your potential employer is less likely to put off reading your CV till last.
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