Vitae is the first thing that any prospective recruitment consultant
A CV or Curriculum Vitae is the first thing that any prospective recruitment consultant or employer will read before considering short listing you for an interview. It is therefore imperative that it gives off the right first impression, and presents your experience in the best light possible.
Employers, especially in the current difficult employment market, frequently have hundreds of CVs in response to a single job advertisement, and because of this will typically only scan CVs quickly before deciding whether to short list them for more detailed reading. Unless yours stands out from the crowd there is a chance that you won’t even reach the next stage of the recruitment process, no matter how suitable you are for the role!
Because a carefully written CV is so essential in today’s job market, Careerseive.com expert recruitment consultants have put together a list of top 10 tips for compiling your Curriculum Vitae in order to help you get a head start in finding your perfect job:
First impressions matter. If a CV is badly laid out or hard to read, a potential employer may not even take the time to read through it. Use a standard font (such as Arial or Times New Roman) and stick to it, and keep your font size within reason (typically size 10 to 12) Large sections of text are often off-putting to read, so ensure that you break it up, and don’t waffle! Bullet points are acceptable (although don’t overdo it – make sure there is also substance to your CV).
Most CVs use the following headings in this order:
It is surprising how many people submit a CV without putting a contact phone number or email address on it. You may have the most perfect CV in the world, but without any way of getting in touch, you won’t be getting the job!
It is advisable to always include an email address as well as a phone number, as many businesses are now increasingly using email as their preferred method of contact. If you do not already have one, it is advisable to set yourself up with a professional email address rather than giving out the one that you set up when you were 16! (‘email@example.com’ or ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ does not give off the best impression to a future employer!).
Also if you have a mobile number as well as a landline always include both.
A CV should be tailored towards whatever job you are applying for. There is no need to put all the jobs in great detail that you’ve had since you were 16, especially if they are not relevant to the job you are applying for. Try and focus on the skills and core competencies that the job requires, and pick out any experience of your own which proves that you have these skills.
Your career and educational history should always be listed in reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent first). This is because your most recent experience is the most relevant! Remember to also put the start and end dates of when you worked/studied.
Focus on your strong points and sell them by highlighting positive facts. Use words like, ‘achieved’, ‘managed’, ‘gained experience’, ‘succeeded’. Remember this is your chance to impress the recruitment consultant or employer, so don’t dwell on any negatives – a positively worded CV will paint you in a good light and reflect a positive attitude, confidence and enthusiasm. There’s no need to make excuses for any short-comings, just don’t even mention them!
Putting false information on your CV is just not worth the risk! Lying about dates, ability or references is never a good idea. There is a strong likelihood that you will be found out at which point you can immediately say goodbye to the job or any other future vacancies within that company! A skilled interviewer is likely to pick up on any parts of your CV which are not completely truthful, so better to be open and honest and be prepared to put your side of events at interview.
You should never just send a CV on its own. A formal covering letter is a good opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the role you are applying for, as well as to develop some of the points that you have mentioned on your CV which draw attention to some of your key skills. You can also use this letter to state your current salary and reasons for applying. Again, keep this fairly short and to the point, tailor it specifically to the job you are applying for and remember to put your contact details on the letter.
Attention to detail is a must. A CV riddled with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors will only tell an employer that you have poor written skills and a lack of attention to detail. So always spell check your Curriculum Vitae! It’s also a good idea to get a friend to read through your CV in case they can find any mistakes that you have missed. Finally, always check again that your CV is accurate and up to date.
In most cases, a CV should not be more than two sides of A4. However, if you really feel that all the relevant information will take three, then don’t force yourself to cram it all on two pages as this will only make it harder to read. It is more important to just keep everything concise and to the point, focus only on the important points and don’t waffle. Be aware though that once you start going past three pages, ask yourself will the prospective employer actually read all of it?! And is it as relevant to the job I am applying for as it could be?
Hopefully this helps you create a great CV that will help you get your next job, or at least get an interview for it! Good luck!