With the job market being a competitive place, you want your CV to stand out above other potential candidates.
- Type your CV in a plain font which is easy to read.
- Keep your CV to two pages if possible, with your most recent job first and the rest in chronological order.
- Ensure all dates are correct, and do not leave gaps in your CV – try to give a brief explanation eg. Went travelling.
- Double check your CV for errors – remember first impressions count!
- Write long winded descriptions when detailing your previous experience – employers will have lots of CVs to look through and will not have time to read large chunks of text.
- Put any unnecessary graphics or pictures on your CV.
- Include any courses/certificates/employment in great detail that do not relate to the rest of your employment history. Eg. Employees do not need to know a detailed account of your 6-month bar job you had at University.
An Example CV Layout
This should include Name, Address, Phone Number, Email address, Visa Status and Date of Birth
You should display your employment history as below:
- Job Title
- Responsibilities (brief, bullet-pointed and adding any keywords you think are relevant)
Any jobs that are not relevant to the job you are applying for, or temp work, try to group together and write a brief explanation. Eg. June 2008- June 2009 – Various temp admin roles.
Begin with your most recent qualification – leaving out irrelevant certificates to the job you are applying for.
Give the potential interviewer, an insight into how you spend your time when you are not at work. Specify any particular achievements in these areas but keep it short. Eg. Black belt in Karate, Semi-professional footballer.
Understanding The Job Description
All the knowledge you need in order to create a great CV is within the job description, so always be thorough when reading this. If you are asked to include a cover letter, be clear and concise with your points, taking out some of the job description and explaining why you are suited and have the particular traits that are needed for the position. Show enthusiasm for the role and that you have researched the company.
Research the company
Your potential future employee won’t want you to recite a back history of the companies achievements and downfalls, but understanding what they specialise in and latest case studies, (and having an opinion on what you liked or didn’t like about them is a plus).
Dress for the occasion
Everybody is entitled to their personal style, but first impressions do count in an interview situation. The way you are presented is the first thing employers see, before you have spoken your first word. Make sure you are smart. If in doubt about the formality of the company, dress smartly, as it is much better to be overdressed in an interview situation rather than underdressed.
Prepare and practice interview answers beforehand
Obviously you do not know exactly what you will be asked in an interview, but there are some questions that you know will almost definitely crop up. You should prepare answers for questions such as “Why are you the best person for the job?” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” beforehand, so that you come across as being confident in your own skills and abilities. Speak clearly, be friendly and smile – the employee is also looking for somebody who fits into the office culture as well as particular skills for the position!
Avoid feeling nervous by preparing the small details well in advance! Lay out what you need the night before so you won’t feel rushed beforehand. Check your route to the interview, and leave additional time in case of unexpected delays.
Do You Have Any Questions?
This is the question employees ask at the end of most interviews and it is your way of showing your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Try to steer clear of asking about office hours and holiday days. Instead, consider asking about the company goals, office culture or whether the position has potential to grow into a more senior role.