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CV Advice

You’ve probably heard the phrase “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”. Well, your CV is your first impression with us. It’s your pitch. Your sell. Your first – and maybe only – chance to shine. So you need to make it good!

Here are a few hints and tips to get you started.

How to write your CV

Your CV is your chance to sell yourself to us and highlight the key skills and attributes you have. There’s no single way to write the perfect CV, of course, but there are some important points to keep in mind before you get started.

For starters, it’s important to remember the purpose of it. A CV alone won’t get you the job – it’s purely a tool to give information for the hiring manager to use as a screening device.

So it makes sense to keep your CV concise. Make sure there’s enough information in it to peak their interest without becoming bogged down in the detail. There’s plenty of time for that at the interview.

You should always tailor your CV to the role your applying for. A blanket CV sticks out like a sore thumb – for all the wrong reasons! So, if you’re an accountant, include numbers and facts and figures. If you’re in sales, you might want to talk about % growth you've helped to achieve, and so on. 

The key, though, whatever role you’re applying for, is to keep it brief. Here’s how you might like to structure it:

Who you are

Start with the facts. This should provide us with all the details we need to identify you and contact you, i.e. name, address, email address and phone number.

Qualifications

The second part of your CV should cover your qualifications. And, if space permits, you can add any relevant training under a separate heading.

Career history

This is the big one. A well formed CV will have career history that covers the last 10 years (if that’s possible, of course). It might be formatted something like this:

Dates worked: Month/Year – from & to

Name of Company: A brief outline of what the company does if it helps

Job Title

Responsibilities: Bullet points are fine here

Achievements: 3-5 main achievements – an opportunity to sell yourself

Your personal profile

If you want to include a personal profile, in general this shouldn’t be more than two lines long. Most recruiters are trained to cut through anything that might be considered ‘waffle’ and hone in straight on the detail. So, while you may want to convey an element of personality in your CV, it’s really important to remember it’s your skills and experience that’ll land you the job.

If you do want to add in a few of your hobbies and interests at the end of your CV, that’s entirely up to you. Just make sure it’s interesting and isn’t trying too hard to impress.

Formatting

When it comes to formatting, it’s pretty simple – keep it simple. Make sure it’s in a readable font (and stick to one font!), use bold to make titles and dates stand out, and keep it uncluttered. And be concise – try to keep the CV to no more than 2-3 pages.

Then, get friends, relatives and trusted colleagues to read over it. They’re great sounding boards – so don’t be offended by constructive feedback. And remember, your CV should reflect your skills, who you are and what you can bring to an organisation. So make it count.