Many job-seekers regard their CV as a formality; a document that appears at short notice when you search for your next role. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. A CV is a powerful tool that showcases your skills and abilities. It is also your opportunity to make a good first impression with a potential employer and attract their attention.
There’s no such thing as a perfect CV, but there are certain best practices that will increase your chances of being invited for an interview.
It’s always advised to keep the layout and format of your CV as simple as possible. Use a plain black typeface such as Arial or Calibri, and when printing your CV make sure you use good quality white A4 paper. Where appropriate, use bullet points to present information in a clear and concise way. The whole document should not exceed two sides of A4 paper.
Your CV should always be tailored to the person that will be reading it, however it should always be presented in a structure that’s easy to follow.
- Name and contact details
Include your name, address, contact number and email address.
- Personal profile
In a short paragraph summarise what you do and what you’re looking to do. This should be tailored towards the job that you’re applying for, so include and highlight your skills, strengths and experience that match the job specification.
- Qualifications, training and skills
Using bullet points, create a short list of your relevant qualifications and training.
- Career history (reverse chronological order)
List your employment history to date in reverse chronological order. Include your job title, a brief description of the company, the dates that you worked there and your key responsibilities and accomplishments for each role. There is no need to detail your reason for leaving each role, however it’s important that there are no unexplained gaps in your career history.
- Education (reverse chronological order)
List the education and training you have received in reverse chronological order. Include dates of attendance and details of the qualifications you received.
- Interests and hobbies
A potential employer will be interested in what you do in your spare time. Briefly describe your hobbies and interests, including activities that emphasise your leadership and teamwork abilities.
Provide the contact details of two referees or simply state they are available upon request.
Always remember that the tone of your CV should be enthusiastic yet professional. Keep your language concise but use high impact words to make your accomplishments stand out. Most importantly, always remember to proof read your CV! If in doubt, ask a friend or colleague to have a look to ensure that your CV contains no spelling or grammatical errors.
If you’d like further help creating a good CV, our consultants at SRGEurope are happy to read over and provide CV advice to all our candidates.