When it comes to applying for any job, your CV is the ticket to get that initial foot in the door and secure an interview – but how do you make sure that your CV is top of the interview pile?
Get the basics right
There is no wrong way to write a CV, but there are some common sections you should cover such as; personal and contact information; education and qualifications; work history and/or experience; relevant skills to the job in question; own interests, achievements or hobbies; and references.
Presentation is key
A successful CV is always carefully and clearly presented. Layout should always be well structured and easy to read. A CVs should never be crumpled or folded, first impressions count.
Use the CV hotspot – the top half and centre area of the first page is where the employer’s eye will naturally fall, so make sure you include your most important information there.
No more than two pages of A4
A good CV is clear, concise and makes every point necessary without rambling – keep things short and sweet. A CV is a chance to tick the right boxes for the employer, so making it relevant to the job means there’s a better chance of a job interview. Employers regularly receive several CVs so it’s unlikely they will read each one cover to cover. Most will make a judgment about a CV within seconds, so keep to a maximum of two pages of A4 paper.
Tailor the CV to the role
When you’ve established what the job entails and how you can match each requirement, create a CV specifically for that role. Remember, there is no such thing as a generic CV. Every CV you send to a potential employee should be tailored to that role so don’t be lazy and hope that a general CV will work because it won’t.
The clues are in the job application, so read the details from start to finish. Take notes and create bullet points, highlighting everything you can satisfy and all the bits you can’t.
Create a unique CV for every job you apply for. You don’t have to re-write the whole thing, just adapt the details so they’re relevant.
References should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. If you’ve never worked before you’re OK to use a teacher or tutor as a referee. Try to include two if you can.
Keep your CV up to date
It’s important to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experience that’s missing and relevant to the job you are applying for.
Potential employers are always impressed with candidates who continue to increase their own skills and experience.