Landing yourself a job can often be a hard task in today’s busy market. Your CV is your chance to make a big impression on an employer so it’s paramount you get it right. Here’s our top CV tips:
You’d be surprised how many grammatical errors are found on people’s CV. Don’t rely on spell checker to find your mistakes for you. This is one of the most off putting things from an employer’s point of view. If you’re too lazy to check that your CV is correct then it says a lot about your work ethic. Spend that time when you’ve finished your CV to read through it from top to bottom making sure it’s perfect. Your CV is your chance to really sell yourself, you wouldn’t turn up to an interview with food on your shirt, the same applies to your CV, make sure it’s pristine.
Keep it up to date
If you’ve had a career break then put it on your CV. The worst thing to see on a CV is blank spaces. You should be constantly updating it. If you have it uploaded on job boards make sure it’s always updated. If you’ve been out of work for a while and there’s a gap in your employment history then let them know what you’ve been doing instead. If you’ve been looking for work let them know. If you’ve been off sick let them know. Gaps in your work history don’t look good.
If you want to stand out from the crowd then you need to write a cover letter. This is your opportunity to really impress. Make sure to tailor it to the specific job that you’re applying for and go into more detail as to why you think you would be perfect for that particular job. Include some other information that isn’t on your CV such as availability for interviews and your notice period. If you would like some more information on how to write the perfect cover letter then click here.
This may sound obvious but people often get so caught up concentrating on the bulk of their CV that they forget the basic stuff. Remember those contact details and make sure they’re up to date too! More than one contact method is often appreciated; email, mobile number, home number, even a social media link such as LinkedIn.
Detail is good. It’s pretty standard to include what companies you’ve worked for and the time period you were there but it’s great to hear what your roles and achievements were too. Let them know what you did on a day to day basis, what skills were required of you, what you learnt, what challenges you faced and overcame – remember you’re selling yourself.
If you’re applying for jobs online your CV should ideally be in a word format. This is the most common format and the most easy to access and read. PDF files can often be ‘broken’ meaning they’re either unable to open or hard to read. If you’ve got the choice send your CV as a word document.
The perfect length
You should be aiming at a CV length of around 3-4 pages especially for skilled roles. Any longer and it can start to get repetitive. Bullet points are a great way to condense information. If you’re a contractor and have had 10 pages of jobs try and include the jobs you think would be beneficial for the position you’re applying for. 1 page is too short, even if you’ve got minimal work experience you should be expanding on other achievements you’ve gained outside of work, even talking about your goals and what you’re hoping to achieve can really impress employers. Volunteering is also a great way to gain work experience and good work ethic. If you want to find out where to volunteer near you click here.
Easy to read font is a must, don’t get fancy, this needs to look professional. It should be set out in some sort of order, see our CV template for more information. We personally don’t think including your picture is advised, you’re selling your skills not your looks. Furthermore it’s not necessary to include your date of birth, this will ensure you are hired on your skills and experience alone.