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How to Write a CV

24 November 2020

It’s that time again. Whether you are updating your CV or writing one from fresh, we all know it’s quite a tedious task, however, a crucial one to land you  that interview for your  dream job! So, bite the bullet, make sure you have some H20 to hand (and a snack of course), crack open your laptop and get going!

The statistics say you only have a few seconds to make an impression on a recruiter and that’s why your CV is so important! So here are our top tips to making sure your CV gets the attention it deserves!

Layout – What should be included in my CV and how to format it

At the top of your CV should be your name and contact details, an email or phone number will suffice. You can also add your LinkedIn profile (although this is only advisable if this is up to date).

Next should be your personal statement, this is a section all about you but try and keep it short and sharp, no longer then 4-5 lines. Talk about the type of person you are, your achievements, aspirations, and skills specific to the job you are applying for!

Hobbies and interests are optional, but we personally recommend that you mention these to give an insight into your personality – you never know you may have something in common with your interviewer!

List your education next, this includes any school, college or university ,and also any qualifications you may have gained. Make sure you also add the dates of attendance (month-year).

Next list your job history, with the most current first. Underneath this include your job title and dates of employment, followed by an outline of your role, key responsibilities and achievements – these can be in bullet points which are easier to read and summarise.

Length of CV

Generally, the shorter the CV the better, again you only have a few seconds to impress a recruiter, so keep it compressed but detailed!

The ideal CV should be no longer than two pages of A4, this is why it’s beneficial  to add your LinkedIn profile,  a way to showcase all your achievements without worrying about the word count on your CV.

Check over

A recruiter will have several applications for one role, so they are looking for small mistakes to filter out people and save their time! This is why spelling and grammar is so important.

Don’t solely rely on the spelling and grammar check within Microsoft Word, these checks will most certainly help but we recommend you also get a friend or family member to read over your CV. Make sure you also take a break before you have a final check over – a set of fresh eyes is always great for spotting mistakes!

Tweak your CV for each job you apply too

Yes, sorry we said it, open up that laptop again and make some changes to your CV – we promise it won’t take too long!

If you have the specific skills mentioned in the job ad then make sure you highlight this in your CV. Add it to your personal statement and also within your key responsibilities under your job history – this will get you noticed!

What to Avoid

Do not lie

Whatever you do, do not lie on your CV, yes big yourself up and stand out but for the right reasons! You will gain no benefit from lying.

Cliché and Contradictory Sentences

Yep this is a thing! For example, you may say “works well under pressure”, a cliche! Most people do work well under pressure, this tells the recruiter nothing about your ability to do the role or anything about the way you work – to demonstrate the point, talk about a time when you did work well under pressure and the outcome. This is the same for “great team player but also works well alone” – try  to avoid these contradictory statements.

Overused Words

Follow this link to find out the most overused words and how to avoid them!

Novel Top Tips:

  • There are lots of handy free CV templates online if you have never written one before or if you are looking for some inspiration.
  • Print out your CV and read each word out as a final check.
  • Many companies run CVs through screening software which hunts particular keywords, so showcase your knowledge of the sector and use industry terms where and when appropriate. Ie boost your chances by naming software programs, tools and techniques that you have used in your job experience.

 

Best of luck!

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