When writing your CV, it’s important to remember that first impressions really count.
Research suggests that due to the huge number of applications they receive, the average employer spends 30 seconds looking through each CV before they decide your suitability. These are often from people with very similar experience, so here are some useful tips to help make your CV stand out.
Follow the guidelines below to help you create the best impression!
How to make your CV easy to read!
- Use short, concise sentences to make your points clear.
- Use a clear font of reasonable size. We recommend a font size 10-12 for your main body of text. Once you have decided on a font style, stay consistent throughout.
- Use bullet points, headings, bold letters and spacing to organise information and make your CV as easy as possible to understand.
- Aim for a maximum of two pages of content. While it’s important to detail your experience, it can be quite easy to ramble. The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively will be valued by your prospective employer.
- Stay professional – photographs and personal information not relevant to the job should not be included.
- Carefully check your spelling and grammar.
Starting from fresh? Here’s how you should structure your CV.
- Personal Details – always include your full name, address, contact numbers and email address clearly (you no longer need to specify your date of birth by law
- Technical Skills Summary/Personal Profile – This is likely the first thing your prospective employer will read, so it’s a useful tool to showcase your relevant skills and ability.
- Qualifications – these should be in reverse chronological order, making sure to include your most recent qualifications first and all qualifications that are relevant to the role.
- Work History/Experience – this should also be in reverse chronological order. Start with your most recent employment or experience and work backwards. Your most recent experience (or most relevant experience if this is different) should always be the most detailed. Less detail is necessary for older roles, just give a brief summary of key responsibilities and achievements.
- Reference Details -you should include a name and contact details for 2 referees ideally.
Your CV isn’t the end, you should include a personalised cover letter for each role…
A cover letter should be a brief summary of information that’s relevant to the role you’re applying to. You should introduce yourself, mention why the role interests you and explain how your experience matches the role. It should be short, only a couple of paragraphs. Try to find the contact details of the recruiter who the application is being sent to, and include the exact job title that you are applying for. You should finish on a confident note with a phrase such as ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon’.
And finally, some top tips to take away…
1. Tailor Your CV – Not every job you apply for will be the same and your CV needs to reflect this. Adapt your CV for each role you apply to. A good way to do this is to adapt your content based on the key specifications of the job, for example using key words.
2. Proof Read – Don't let all your hard work go to waste for a spelling mistake to let you down. It’s a really good idea to get someone to proof read your CV to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you don't have anyone to do this for you, try an online service like Grammarly.
3. Be honest – There can be a fine line between self-promotion and exaggeration. It better to be completely honest about your education and employment history than to be employed under false pretences or caught out by your prospective employer for lying.
4. Double check your dates – Avoid any unnecessary confusion by making sure that your dates of employment or education match up. Use both the month and the year.
If you would like some more tips for personalising your CV or require a template, get in touch with your recruitment consultant today!