This is likely to be the first contact you have with prospective employers. It is likely an employer will make their judgement on whether to interview you or not based on the content and presentation of your CV. First impressions count, so it is important to get it right with a well prepared CV.
- Always tailor your CV to the job for which you are applying. Highlight your abilities, education, qualifications and background and then highlight the relevance to the job you are seeking. It might mean a number of changes to be made to your CV, but it will definitely help your chances of gaining an interview request.
- Endeavour to remain upbeat throughout the CV content. Keep the reader's focus with short bursts of factual information. Do not have vast dialogue, as this is likely to result in your potential employer not reading your CV properly.
- Chronicle your CV from the present, backwards. Summarise previous jobs held in 3 to 10 sentences. Any missing time periods will appear suspicious; so clarify all time periods (i.e. unemployed, sabbatical, illness, etc).
- Avoid subjective comments such as "a resourceful individual", just because they sound good, these are "banana skins" put in (by you) for you to slip up on; stick to facts and do not falsify any information or make claims that may be difficult for you to back up in an interview.
- Personal details should be kept brief, but cover essential information. Remember contact details are important (or how will the recruitment agency or employer contact you?).
- Remember to adhere to requests highlighted in advertisements. For instance, if the advertisement requests you specify your current salary package, then provide this detail. If you do not do as the advert requests then this will only frustrate the recruiter/employer and demonstrate that you cannot follow instructions.
CV Writing Tips
The CV should have clearly defined headings. We would suggest building your CV around the following headings:
Professional profile summary: What is your profession? What is your experience? What are your qualifications? What are your greatest achievements? This should be condensed to 2-5 sentences.
Career summary: A summary of each job title held, company name, duration of employment and a summary of your key responsibilities and achievements whilst employed. Between 5-10 sentences as a guide. List most recent job first, oldest job last.
Career objective: What do you aspire to achieve in your career? 1-2 sentences.
Education and Qualifications: List these in chronological order, with your most recent education/qualifications listed first.
Training and development: Depending on the volume of your training and development experiences list all, or a selection of the most relevant to the job you are applying for.
IT skills: Highlight a summary of your capabilities, depending on the importance to your profession, emphasise if you are an expert, proficient or beginner.
Personal details: As a minimum these should include contact details (home address, telephone number/s (home and mobile), email address.
Interests and activities: Think about the reader, it is normally best to refrain from politics, religion or any controversial activities. Many suggest leaving out this section completely.
References: Most people say, "available on request", this is generally best policy. If you have written references you should take these with you to an interview.