We are sure you all know how vital it is to have the ideal CV, it is, after all, a potential employer's first introduction to you but how do you go about writing it? What information should you include and what should you leave out? We at AllGuildfordJobs want to help you in maximising your chances of getting that good so here are tips for making the right first impression.
We know it's obvious but a Curriculum Vitae (CV) should on all occasions 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 clear headings and breaks between paragraphs. A prospective employer will is likely to look through loads of CVs for a job so they should be able to see the important information straightaway before short listing it for a more thorough read through. A badly laid out CV which is difficult to read will probably end up in the trash.
A lot of employers like a CV to commence with a personal statement as it allows them to see immediately what you are about. What should this include?
Ensure you give these questions serious thought before you come up with an answer as they are likely to be questioned at interview. Here's an example of the type of thing could say:
' I am clever, hardworking and serious about any challenges I come up against. My workup until now has all been very customerfacing and I have found this to be very enjoyable. I have spent the last six years in a sales environment and I enjoy the contact with different types of people this brings. I feel I am intelligent and would like the opportunity to use. During my time at Bob Burns Estate Agents I very much enjoyed learning as much as possible about the procedural and legal parts of the conveyancing process and felt that I absorbed it quickly. I am particularly keen to take on a challenging position with opportunities to advance and train where possible. I am also very IT literate and thoroughly take pleasure using computers as part of my working life.'
The next section should be your educational history if it is especially relevant to the job for which you are applying. For example, if you have a degree in Marketing and you are applying for a marketing position then it is useful to state this first. However, if you are of the opinion that your education is not particularly relevant and you are applying on the value of your experience then it is worth possibly putting your work history first.
Your education should be displayed in reverse order with the most recent education taken first. You do not need to go into vast amounts of detail here, purely 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 required to make any reference to your age and including dates from which your age may be obvious. Remember to include information of any other certificates you might have received which may be important to the position.
Like education, it should be laid out in reverse order, the most recent or current employment at the top. You should state the name of the employer and the period of time you worked for them (this does not necessarily have to be dates but you should state for how long you were employed in that position). It is also important to indicate where the employer was based, e.g. Guildford. You should also clearly indicate 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 suitable 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 position undertaken on your CV as this can make an employer to make assumptions about your suitability for a role and make negotiating your salary, where applicable, more difficult. The same can also be said for putting your salary expectation on your CV.
It is usual for job seekers to put a little bit of personal information, such as hobbies, on their CV. It is advisable to keep this to a minimum. You should, however, state whether you hold a driving licence and whether you own your own car etc.
It is not always the case that employers like to see photos on a CV. For most roles it is unnecessary to include a photo but if you want to it ought to be passport photo sized and professional looking.
It is highly important that you ensure all spelling and punctuation are right. Literacy is often highly important to employers so use the 'Spell Check' facility on your computer.
Ask a friend or contact to read through your CV. Ask them to double check that it looks presentable and easy to read. They should also check your spelling and grammar.
When applying for a position try to incorporate 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 would be of value to them (avoid repeating too much from the CV itself).
Remember that it may not be 'one CV fits all', it's worth spending a few minutes reviewing your CV before each time you send it to check it makes the best impact for each particular position. You may want to think about changing some information, particularly your personal statement, to suit the job description.