Whether you are applying for a job at your favourite retail store or your dream job in the city, it is important that your CV represents you in the best possible light. It only takes a matter of seconds for an employer to look at your CV and tell if you are suitable for the job or even an interview. This is why it is so important how you convey yourself in your CV.
Before you begin writing, researching the company where you are applying for the job is key. It gives you an insight to what they do, which leads you in the right direction for what skills you should include and could do without mentioning in your CV.
Having a CV that is adapted to that specific company is more beneficial than having one CV that you apply for multiple jobs with. It shows you are familiar with the company and their brand.
Within your CV it is important to highlight the skills you have as well as the attributes. The difference between the two is that skills are what you can do such as teamwork, leadership and interpersonal skills. Attributes are features or characteristics such as reliability, initiative and adaptability. By putting both skills and attributes into your CV, it shows that you have a variety of different features you can bring to this potential job role.
When discussing your skills and attributes, giving examples are a good way of proving that you have used this skill in previous jobs, within your life or your education. For example, you could discuss that at your previous job you worked with the rest of the staff to exceed the sales plan for the day. This will justify your teamwork skills and show you are capable of working within a team.
Potential employers want to know about the previous experience you have had in the world of work. This is where you tie in the skills you have with the experience you have. Letting the employer know information such as how long you worked there for and what you did there gives them an insight to the role you played and shows you have previous experience within a working environment.
If you have never had a job before then experience such as education and life skills are just as applicable if you can relate skills you have to them.
Qualifications require your most relevant education first including the dates you studied there. Follow with your second place of education. You do not need to include your primary school in this. It is only relevant to list degrees, GCSE’s and A-Levels. I recommend putting them in grade order too.
LAYOUT AND STRUCTURE
The layout of the CV must be professional, smart and easy to read. Using your favourite font from word that is really wacky is probably not the best idea. Sticking to something simple like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri is more suitable.
Massive chunks of text are not what people want to read. They don’t have time to read three pages with massive paragraphs about your skills. Your CV does not have to be many pages long, keeping it at a maximum of two is ideal. Keeping your paragraphs simple and concise are helpful. Also using bullet points is a good way to space your information out without it being too dull and chunky.
Photographs of yourself are not deemed as professional by many potential employers so if you are thinking about including one, I would probably give it a miss.
Including your name, address, mobile number, email and date of birth informs your potential employer about how they can contact you directly if they would like to offer you an interview. Employers cannot guess any of this information about you so including it on your CV is crucial if you would like a response.
HANDING IT OVER
If you are giving your CV in person to a potential employer, make yourself look professional. Using plastic wallets are a great way of keeping your CV looking smart and neat as well as giving a good impression. What would you prefer, a nice presented wallet or a bit of paper that has been crushed in a bag?
Or if you are sending it via email, then writing a cover letter is a way of presenting yourself as if you were handing it over in person. Keeping a cover letter short and sweet and saving the best for your CV is how to successfully write one. They just want to know that you are applying for the job, why you are applying and your selling points.
If you are just touching up your CV to keep it up-to-date or you are applying for a job, I hope this helped!