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What does your CV say about you?

Settling down to write your CV is always going to be a difficult task. Not only do you have to jog your memory on where you have worked and when, but you have to somewhat promote yourself as use it to market yourself in your chosen industry. Writing your CV involves a whole lot of self-analysis, a tricky task by its very own nature! Your CV defines you professionally; who you are in the workplace and where you see your career heading.

A lot of information is revealed through your CV. Surprisingly, the language used in a CV is a key aspect of understanding a person. More often than not, if you have enjoyed a particular job more than another or a certain aspect of it, this will be reflected through your chosen language. For confident people who fully understand the ins and outs of their job role, they won’t just list their duties, but rather will go into more detail on the activities and highlight particular successes.

Sometimes candidates might worry about breaks or poor results in education, and will try to justify these on their CV; believe it or not this actually highlights them more! In today’s poor job market, often people apply for positions that they do not necessarily meet the criteria for. This is shown loud and clear through the irrelevance to the job specifications; it simply looks like they haven’t read the job application guidelines. It is far better to cater your CV to the specific requirements of individual roles, rather than include everything in a broad CV and hope that this will open up more job opportunities.

Your CV is your very own self-marketing tool. It is vital that you present it well, using professional language and specific industry terminology where appropriate. The content needs to be refined, precise, and entirely relevant to the job you are applying for. Make sure you include the correct contact details, to enable the recruiter to respond to you. It might sound silly, but some people don’t update their CV and send off an old version with incorrect contact details. Also, do not under any circumstances use an inappropriate email address; make sure it is formal and professional and doesn’t include and jokey material.

Start your CV with your personal profile, and highlight exactly what it is about you as a person that should make them hire you. Be sure to include your relevant professional experience, more so than referring to your personality traits, unless these link directly to the required job specifications. Next should be your career history, listing each role and the activities you undertook and how they relate directly to the job you are applying for. Be sure to highlight any key successes and why you were a valuable asset to the business. The most important thing is that you demonstrate how your role had a positive effect on the company.

If you have done any volunteer work, or extracurricular activities that link to the job you are applying for, make sure you reference them under a ‘relevant skills and experience’ section. This should always appear on the first page of your CV, so that it drawn attention to from the outset. Provide all relevant information on your CV, and give examples of work activities that you have done previously, and how they are similar to what is required of you in the job you are applying for. It is important to not be generic in your CV; employers need to know exactly what it is you have done previously and what it is about you specifically that matches their role.

Presentation is vital to ensure you are taken seriously. If your CV contains basic errors, suh as bad spelling and grammar, then often recruiters will bypass yours immediately. Attention to detail is a key personal attribute for many jobs, so make sure your CV follows suit. Ask someone to read over it and highlight problem areas for you to work on. Only include positive aspects of your personality and professional experience; do not under any circumstance highlight your weaknesses or speak negatively of you previous employers. Steer clear of generic terms that are generally used on CVs; you need to stand out and show you are unique. Remember to fine tune the content of your CV, ensuring you stay precise and to the point.

Writing your CV can be an overwhelming task and can encompass a whole number of years’ experience and job roles. The most important thing is to remain relevant to the job you are applying for. Hundreds of people could be applying for the same role as you; be clear and confident on what it is about you that makes you stand out. Employers want the right person for the job; make sure that’s you from the very outset!

Careers Advice

We work with experts in and around our local area to provide useful information relating to careers advice - we hope you will find these articles to be helpful. You can view our news news archive here

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