We recently ran a poll on our Superfan Facebook page asking what you’d like me to blog about. It seems most of you want information on writing a CV. Well… you asked for it, you got it!
Your CV is your pass to a new career. It shows employers what you’ve done, what you’re good at, and together with a well-written cover letter, helps convince them they should offer you an interview.
Writing a CV may seem a daunting task, but it is essential that you get it right. A good CV will help you stand out in the crowded job market. A bad CV will immediately get tossed without a second glance.
There are seemingly endless different ways to structure your CV, and it will often depend on the field and company you’re targeting as well as your experience level and the type of job you’re going for. Nonetheless, the key ingredients in a CV are your name and contact information, your professional experience, your education, training and qualifications, and any relevant volunteer experience. From there, you can expand to include a summary profile, key skills, association memberships and affiliations, publications, and any other information you feel would help your application rise to the top of the pile.
To help you write an effective CV, here are a few hard, fast rules to follow:
1) Keep it relevant. Your prospective employer doesn’t want to know about the two-week stint you had at an ice cream shop if you’re applying for a high-level position as a financial advisor.
2) Keep it chronological. When typing your list of professional experience, be sure to account for any gaps in employment. Took a year off to travel round the world? Great, include that.
3) Keep it brief. Make sure you keep your CV clear, concise and easily readable. Don’t list long, drawn-out descriptions of every job you’ve had. Keep it to the point, highlighting specific skills, responsibilities, and achievements.
4) Keep it honest. Fibbing about your experiences and skills won’t get you very far, and if you do manage to land an interview, you’ll be sussed out pretty quickly.
5) And for goodness’ sake, keep it typo-free. Typos reflect very poorly on your general professionalism and ability to do a job well. Make sure you check, double-check, and triple-check your CV for any spelling or grammatical errors before you submit it.
presentation and the ability to extract information easily is also essential… don’t repeat yourself either xxxx
Yes josie i wanted a blog about writing cvs brilliant thankyou.. checking spelling grammer is important and will take on board thankyou 🙂 this has helped alot and will use this on my cv
Excellent tips in here, thanks for sharing.
some good tips in there as the job market has changed so much recently that you need to get noticed just from a piece of paper as the employers can’t meet every candidate. I have just recently re-written mine and it took me 2 hours!!
some really good points to show on your cv that your willing and wanting a job with them. just updated my cv with some of these great points.
Some really good tips here. Compared to interviews, doing a CV well is so easy. It’s definitely worth spending time on and knowing that when you get that interview, it’s because your CV was exactly what they wanted to see: professional.
Just gone through my CV and changed so much due to this article, its now looking much better, much more professional. Thanks Josie
just done a new CV with these points on, i think it looks better than my old CV, thanks josie 🙂 this has really helped alot.. I hope it can impress employers!
It’s a good idea to keep your Cv to one page if possible and certainly NEVER over two 🙂
Also the font make sure the font is your common Times new roman or Ariel nothing strange or fancy
i printed my CV off and a covering letter to hand out to veterinary practices, i hope they see my ambitions threw the new CV i done, threw the blog!
I’ve got as great book called How to write a brilliant CV 2012, it’s up-to-date with what employers wants and gives really good advice, now I just need to get round to working from it and producing my new CV for when my temporary job ends in December 🙁
oh melissa that sounds good about your book, brilliant Cv 2012 sounds good! everyone has different views of how they like there CV to be as long as it impresses the employers there are several ways in doing one! i got shown at school a few different types!
I didn’t know there were books out on the subject, such a great idea. I know when we got taught about writing it in school it was so minimal and looks so bad when I look at it now.. its lucky we have others sources of information out there.
I love this blog, it has really helped me with my CV and i have handed them out to all my local veterinary practices, had 2 responses back so far about none vancancies at the moment!
good tips 🙂
Indeeed, a good CV will help you stand out from the crowd! It should be simple, concise, targeted to the job you’re applying for and carefully tailored to highlight your strengths appropriately!
I was a consultant cv writer years ago and the worst cv’s I ever saw were those prepared by the job centre.
There are many things to consider when writing your CV not only checking your spelling but choosing which format to use, design, layout, keeping it to the point and never repeating yourself. Making the information easily accessible and ensuring it is easy to read are also key aspects to an effective CV.
Good point made april, yes making your CV presentable in the right way is very important so employers can see what kind of person you are by the way you explain your personal profile. Making it to the point.
I find it useful, when going for a specific job role, to slightly tailor my CV to ues similar words to those found in the job description / advertisement. It makes you sound more well-suited to the role and aids the prospective employer in beleiving you have relevant experience.
Yes wendy that is useful and employers can see what kind of things you are looking for and relevant experience you have, great idea!
And always best to get a second person to check your work. Spell checkers will not pick up on words if spelt correctly and you mis-typed but a human will 🙂
yes ABI J, spelling is important to employers and to make your CV look good! CV must be short and sweet! not waffling on about your personal life or your work, or work experiences, the employers can always ask you more questions at a interview!
I think it’s important to do what the prospective employer asks. If they want an application submitted by email, do just that. I don’t think it helps to submit by post instead – looks like you can’t follow instructions. If they want a hard copy – make sure its on quality paper – so that it stands out from the rest. Got good handwriting? Consider writing your cover letter by hand.
Great post with several tips that will help anyone in their job hunt!