It’s your first point of contact with an employer and it can mean the difference between getting an interview or a rejection email. Writing a CV that helps you get that dream job doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve put together ten tips to show you how.
1. Read the Ad
Read that ad carefully. If there’s a position description available for download, get it. Pay attention – determine exactly what the employer is looking for.
2. Don’t Recycle
Don’t recycle your CV. Every job needs a different set of skills and experience. Make a list of yours. Think about how you can present yourself so that you appear uniquely suited to the advertised position. Research the company’s website.
3. Name and Address
Begin your CV with your full name and contact details. If you have a LinkedIn page you could include the address here.
4. Personal Profile
Follow this section with a personal profile – a short paragraph describing your background and why you are right for the job. Be specific, cite specific achievements.
5. Areas of Expertise
Next, list three or four areas of expertise – strengths you possess that will convince the employer you’ll perform well in the position.
6. Work History
Outline your work history, most recent job first. Include dates worked, job title, employer, a brief description of the role and its responsibilities and any goals you achieved. Place most emphasis on the skills the prospective employer is looking for.
Provide your education history. Include the name of the institution, dates you attended, courses taken and qualifications gained.
Briefly mention your hobbies and interests. Pay attention to what they say about you. Are you a team player? Are you a creative thinker?
List the details of two referees, preferably your last two managers. Alternatively, mention that they can be supplied upon request.
10. To the Point
Keep your CV clear and to the point, don’t use fancy fonts, pictures or coloured paper. Try not to exceed two pages in length. Write in a manner that allows the document to be read quickly – your CV will probably be looked at for no more than 60 seconds in the first instance.
Carefully considering the advertisement, fitting your skills and experience to the role, and laying out your CV concisely can help you take that next step towards a better and more rewarding career.
Learn more about writing your CV in this video.