There are many resources dedicated to CV advice, yet crafting a good resume can be one of the most challenging things you will ever do. You must turn your life history into a one or two page advertisement that highlights a lifetime of experience, accomplishments, skills and education.
The CV is the most important aspect in the job application process. It has a dual remit: to bridge the gap between job seeker and employer, and crucially, to secure an interview. Think of it as your own personal marketing tool, something that you design to fight for attention in a potential employer’s busy schedule.
A CV is your individual selling tool: everything included should contribute towards building your brand. From the language you use to the style it takes, arrange your USPs to reflect you’re serious about your career.
Here are some essential CV advice tips to help you on your way:
Where do I begin?
Think about what attributes and skills you have which make you suitable for the role you’re applying for. Understand what skills you intend to 'sell'. You should have different CVs that fit the expectations of the industry.
What should I write?
Use simple and clear language, make it concise and tailor it. An employer wants to identify your key skills and experience by glancing at your CV. If it is hard to get to this information, you may be overlooked.
How long should it be?
A prospective employer typically spends just a few seconds looking at a prospective application, so ensure to choose your words carefully and keep it brief. Two sides of A4 are usually best.
Things to include:
*An opening statement – a short paragraph outlining how your skills match the position. Identify the things that make you different from other applicants.
*Personal details – ensure to include your name, contact details and if required, links to your social network profiles if they’ll support your application.
*Relevant employment history – list relevant work experience in chronological order, highlighting pertinent areas of responsibility
* Education background – list all schools, colleges and specialist courses attended, along with the relevant dates and grades
* Interests, achievements and other relevant information – include any relevant interests, awards, achievements and skills you possess. The employer will be looking for characteristics that indicate your suitability for a particular post.
*References - employers may wish to contact referees before offering employment. Choose people who can provide a positive and accurate representation of yourself
A CV is your story to tell; you get to decide what goes in and what is omitted. It contains information; you believe, will really impress someone and give you a chance at the interview stage.
If you need further CV advice, we offer a range of resources for candidates, including tips on how to approach interviews and much more.