Top Tips for Writing that Perfect CV

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01/05/2015

The job market today is more competitive than ever – more candidates are applying for positions, so it is vital that you make the best impression to really stand out from the crowd. Employers who look at your CV will need to make a quick decision on whether to shortlist your CV for interview. This article is a guide to ensuring you present yourself in the best possible light on paper.

  1. Spelling and grammar

It is vital that you are vigilant for any spelling or grammar errors that may appear during the formation of the CV. Do not just rely on spellcheck to pick up mistakes, you should also ask friends or relatives to proof read it for you as well. Poor spelling and grammar could cost you a job, so make sure you get it right. This is the first impression the employer will have of you. Mistakes suggest you have not put in the time or thought into the document or even ‘detail’ is not important to you.

  1.  Formatting

For a professional document black font, with Arial/Calibri formatting is recommended, using size 11/12pt. This avoids the CV from becoming crammed and hard to read for potential employers. Consistency is also important; the same formatting needs to be used throughout. Overall try to keep all details to the point and avoid use of tables and boxes within the document.

  1.  CV Length

A CV should realistically only be 2 sides of A4, but if this is too much of a push 3 pages is acceptable. We advise looking at the job role you’re applying for and tailoring your experience around what is being required from you. Make full use of bullet points and highlight key achievements to drive and motivate the employer to find out more about you.

  1. Contact details

A potential employer must be able to contact you with sufficient ease. Including basics such as your first and last name, address, phone number(s), and e mail address will be important when trying to secure an interview. It is not necessary to put  your age, marital status or nationality. When adding an email address ensure that it sounds professional and creates the right impression about yourself. You may also want to add a link to a professional site such as a LinkedIn account to give some extra information about yourself that you could not fit on your CV.

  1. Personal profile

This is your opportunity to convey your focus, areas of work interest, and really express your personality. The objective within this section is to make sure it is related to the job you are applying for. It should act as a mini advert for you and should especially summarise your particular; skills, qualities and career aims. It must attract the reader’s attention and ideally avoid the use of clichés such as ‘hard working’, ‘team player’, ‘good communication skills’. Remember the 3 S’s – Short, Sharp and Snappy!

  1. Education

This section should include universities attended (including years of attendance) and qualifications awarded. Start from your most recent qualification and work backwards using bullet points to show concisely your qualifications.

  1. Job History

This is a critical part of your CV and should have the most focus – you should write clearly, concisely and in laymen’s terms the job roles that you have been in. The job roles need to be factually correct in order to stand out. Each position should be placed in chronological order (with your current position going first). Within each job role you should write the company name, job title, what the company does and dates of employment. You should also provide details of your main duties and examples of the skills you used and most importantly your achievements whilst working in that position. However, please make sure you do not make it sound like a job description.

Using bullet points and positive language is recommended and using ‘action’ words such as; researched, created, designed, implemented, established etc. to emphasise upon your accomplishments. Be aware that is important to avoid unexplained gaps during your employment history; if you had time out travelling, job seeking, caring for a relative etc. this should be included along with details of what you have learned and skills you have gained during that time.

  1. Interests and Hobbies

Employers really like to get a feel for your character before inviting you for an interview. Highlight any clubs or societies that can relate to the relevant job and include interests such as sports and recreation activities. Overall your interests can say a lot about you, they can give great insight into your personality and motivations and how you may fit culturally within the company.

  1. References

When writing down references only include a statement saying ‘references available upon request’ – Do not include the names of the referees.

Finally good luck! With these CV hints and tips we hope that you gain the best chance possible in getting that ideal job!

If you need any help in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact the Remtec Office.

[Staff writer at Remtec Search and Selection Ltd]

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