For many, writing their CV is the first step of the unnerving journey that is finding a new role. Whether it is updating an existing CV or writing a brand new one there are a number of things you need to consider and it is likely that you have never received any training on how to make your CV standout. However, it should not be as daunting as people make out.
The CV is a tool, a summary of your experience and achievements designed to spark enough interest (hopefully) from a potential employer that they want to interview you. Once in the interview it's all down to you. So when it comes to writing a CV think of it as an introduction, not as the golden ticket that will get you the job.
First of all, think about all your achievements relevant to the roles that you are applying for. Your achievements are evidence to any potential employer that you can do the job you have applied for so make sure they are your biggest and best! Even if you are embarking on a career change there will be experience and achievements that are relevant to your new direction so make sure they are included.
Structure is also important and here are some simple rules you should follow:
- Name and contact details at the top (don't write 'Curriculum Vitae', it takes up valuable space)
- Education followed by Experience starting with your most recent job and moving backwards chronologically to earliest relevant job
- For each job make sure you have listed both your responsibilities and achievements. Make sure your achievements are quantifiable, e.g. cost savings in pounds, growth in percentage etc
- Don't limit yourself to a specific number of pages. Some people have more to talk about than others, depending on experience. Just be mindful that an average recruiter spends less than 10 seconds reading a CV for the first time.
- FORMAT AND SPELL CHECK your CV before applying for any roles!
Ultimately the CV is yours and you should be comfortable with it and what it says about you. If you want to include a summary at the top, or anything else for that matter, that is up to you, just make sure it promotes your experience and achievements relevant to the role you are applying for.
Finally, the CV is meant to be changed and edited so you should be reviewing it often to make sure it is relevant to any and all the jobs you apply for.
If you are not sure if you have created a CV which represents you effectively then please do feel free to send it through to our Managing Partner Simon Gregory (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will happily give advice and feedback.