We all know how imperative it is to have the ideal CV, it is, after all, a potential employer's first meeting of you but how do you set about writing it? What details should you make sure it contains and what should you take out? We at LondonAreaJobs want to aid you in maximising your possibility of getting that excellent so here are hints for making the right first impression.
We are sure you all know it's obvious but a Curriculum Vitae (CV) should always be typed to give it the best ease of read possible. It should also be well laid out. Think about how it appears on the page. There should be obvious headings and breaks between paragraphs. A prospective employer will probably look through lots of CVs for a job so they should be able to see the relevant information immediately before short listing it for a more thorough read through. A inadequately laid out CV which is not easy to read will probably end up in the rubbish.
Many employers would like a CV to commence with a personal statement as it allows them to see immediately what you are about. What should this contain?
Ensure you give these questions serious thought before you decide upon the answers as they are likely to be questioned at interview. Here's an example of the type of thing might want to say say:
' I am clever, hardworking and serious about any challenges I come up against. My workto date has all been extremely customerorientated and I have found this to be very enjoyable. I have spent the last several years in a sales environment and I enjoy the interaction with different sorts of people this brings. I feel I am intelligent and would like the opportunity to exploit. During my time at G K Estate Agents really enjoyed learning lots about the procedural and legal parts of the conveyancing process and feel that I learnt quickly. I am very much keen to take on a challenging role with the opportunity to progress and train where possible. I am also very IT proficient and very much take pleasure using computers as part of my working life.'
The next section should be your education if it is particularly relevant to the job for which you are applying. For example, if you have a degree in Finance and you are applying for a finance position then it is useful to state this first. However, if you are of the opinion that your education is not particularly significant and you are applying on the importance of your experience then it is worth possibly putting your work history first.
Your education should be put in reverse order with the most recent education done first. It is not necessary to go into extensive detail here, simply state where you studied and what grades you were awarded. It is not essential to put the dates of study if you do not wish to as, under the Age Discrimination Law, you are not obliged to make any reference to your age and this includes dates from which your age may be determined. Remember to include information of any extra certificates you may have be awarded which may be relevant to the position.
Like education, it is important that this is laid out in reverse order, the most recent or current employment at the beginning. You should state the name of the organisation and the period of time you were employed (this need not be dates but you should put for how much time you were employed there). It is also important to indicate where the employer was based, e.g. London. You should also clearly state what your job title was. Under this explain succinctly what your job role was and your main tasks. This should help a perspective employer determine whether your experience makes you right for their position. Try to be succinct and keep it to only relevant information.
It is not a good idea to put your salary for each employment undertaken on your CV as this can cause an employer to make assumptions about your suitability for a role and make negotiating your salary, where applicable, harder. Similarly the same could also be said for putting your salary expectation on your CV.
It is usual for people to put a little bit of personal information, such as hobbies, on their CV. You should keep this to a minimum. You should, however, state whether you have a driving licence and what type of transport you have.
It is not always the case that employers like to see photos on a CV. For most positions it is unnecessary to include a photo but if you would like to it ought to be passport photo sized and professional in appearance.
It is vital that you make sure all spelling and punctuation are right. Literacy is often highly valued to employers so use the 'Spell Check' option on your computer.
Ask someone to read through your CV. Ask them to check it looks presentable and easy to read. They should also check your spelling and grammar.
When applying for a role try to include a covering letter. This should say why you are applying for this job in particular and a little bit about the experience and/or skills you have which could be useful to them (avoid repeating too much from the CV itself).
Don't forget that it may not be 'one CV fits all', it is important spending a few minutes reviewing your CV before each time you send it to check it makes the best impact for each particular opening. You may want to consider changing some information, particularly your personal statement, to suit the job description.