More often than not, your CV is the first opportunity you have to impress your potential new employer – so how do you want to portray yourself? A good CV can identify an articulate, organised professional, with skills and attributes that their company needs. A disorganised, error-filled CV that contains irrelevant or poorly communicated information will send your application straight to the shredder.Get to the Point
Bear in mind that recruiters and managers are very busy people – it is likely that they won’t have the time to read every word on your CV from start to finish, so it needs to be detailed yet to the point and user-friendly (this is not the place for a literary epic). The reader should be able to quickly pinpoint the key sections, your qualifications, experience and skills. Having your CV in a structured format not only makes you look good in the recruiter’s eyes, but will allow them to better assess whether you are a good fit for the opportunity.
Below is a useful format for you to follow and a really solid basis for a strong, organised and comprehensive CV:1 – Personal Details
This section should include your full name, address, email and contact details (always include your mobile number). It’s also worth stating here whether you have a full, clean driving licence if this is something that the role requires.
TIP: It’s important to have a simple, appropriate email address that you can use for your CV and job applications (no one wants to hire firstname.lastname@example.org…).2 – Personal Profile
Write a short paragraph detailing who you are and what you are looking for, making sure you tailor this towards the type of role you are applying for.
TIP: Keep it professional, your prospective employer doesn’t need to know how much you like cats.3 – Education
Your most recent qualifications should come first. Do not include too much detail about less significant qualifications. Do include relevant training and courses you have attended by date and course title.
TIP: It may be worth condensing your qualifications as these can take up a lot of page space – for example, instead of listing all of your GCSEs, simply write how many you achieved, your grade range and a short list of the individual titles and grades for either your strongest subjects or those most relevant to the role you are applying for.4 – Work Experience
Try not to provide too much detail about jobs that are not relevant to the role you are applying for. Bear in mind that your work experience should demonstrate consistency and progression. You will want to highlight transferable skills in this section and be sure to include: the place of employment, dates of employment, summarise main responsibilities and showcase your personal achievements at work.
TIP: Consider using bullet points to present your responsibilities and achievements within each role you have listed to keep it concise and easy to read.5 – Interests and Hobbies
Briefly expand upon your passions, hobbies and achievements outside of work.
TIP: Do not underestimate this section, it paints a picture of who you are. Try to relate your hobbies/interests to your personal and professional attributes, to further demonstrate skills such as commitment and leadership while also highlighting some key achievements.6 – References
You can either provide the name, relationship to you and contact details of your referees, or state “Available upon request”. Any references given should be up-to-date and their details correct.
If you use a well-structured format like this one then you will definitely improve your chances of being successful in the applications that you make.What’s next?
Once you’ve perfected your CV, be sure to upload it to CV-Library so that employers can get in touch with you about relevant jobs!
Good luck job hunters!