When applying for a job, a CV is often the first impression that you will give. Therefore, it is important that a CV contains all of the relevant skills and experience that you have acquired. Here are some top tips to help make your CV stand out from the rest.
What should I include in my CV?
- Contact details
- Personal profile
- Employment experience
- Skills and achievements
- Hobbies and interests
Make it easy on the eye
The layout of a CV has an impact on how successful it is. Make sure that you break up your CV in to sections and list everything in reverse chronological order (this means that your recruiter will see your most recent experience first). Bullet points are a good way to improve readability for employers and help them to easily pick out information. Use fonts such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman with a font size of 10-12. It is also a good idea to save your CV as a PDF to ensure that it can be opened on any device.
Keep it up to date
Before sending off your CV to an employer, make sure that is up to date. This means that you should be regularly updating your CV with any new qualifications or experience that you have gained.
If you are a school leaver, you may not have any professional work experience yet and that is absolutely fine! Instead, show off your strengths by including any achievements throughout school such as awards, volunteering and extra-curricular activities.
Alter your CV to match the position that you are applying for
Adapt and change your CV to meet the job requirements of the position that you are applying for. Highlight how your skills and experience match what the employer is looking for. To do this, make sure that you read the job specification.
Short and sweet
A CV should be no longer than 2 pages – anything longer may put off a potential employer. Make sure you only include important and relevant information. You are able to add more detail in your personal statement or even in your interview.
Check for errors
A spelling or grammar mistake on your CV may be a deal breaker for some employers. Before sending it off, use a spell checker or ask someone to proofread it for you. A second pair of eyes can spot things that you didn’t even notice!
Lying on your CV can result in serious consequences later down the line. For example, lying about your degree grade is considered degree fraud. Lying will also show to your employer that you are dishonest and not trustworthy.
Include a brief description of your interests and hobbies. This provides your potential employer with more information about you as a person and helps you to form a personal connection. It also gives you something to talk about during the interview!
Good luck and happy CV writing!