Constructing a CV can feel mind-boggling, yet it’s one of the most important parts of your job search.
A CV is a short document of one or two pages detailing your professional skills, experience, achievements and education. Getting it right could be the difference between getting to interview stage or being placed on the ‘no’ pile.
Before getting into the nitty gritty details, make sure you have the basic information covered, such as contact details, education and employment history. Also consider the kind of jobs you are applying for and what is required for those roles.
- Aim to keep it clear and concise, and less than two pages. Employers will be trawling through hundreds of CVs and won’t have the time to read a five-page, in-depth autobiography, which is why it’s best to keep it succinct.
- Get a friend or family member to read through your CV so that you can ensure there are no spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.
- When detailing your skills, ensure you outline what is relevant first and emphasise your strengths. Make it absolutely clear to the employer that you have the skills needed for the role and the experience to back it up.
- The layout of a CV is also very important, it should be concise with a sensible font used (not Comic Sans), bullet points and adequate space between text. A well-laid out CV ensures employers can scan through it and take in the most important information straight away.
- Much like an interview, your CV should always be positive. An employer will not be impressed by negativity towards past employers. Even if you did have a bad experience, remain positive by focusing on the skills you gained.
- Make sure that there are no unexplained gaps in your employment history. While you don’t have to reveal everything, consider stating ‘seeking a job’ or ‘volunteering’ for the sake of transparency.
- Unless you are going for a creative role, do not decorate your CV, this means no fancy fonts, no borders or pictures and definitely no colour. It is best to keep it simple, with black text on a white background using a standard font.
- As with an interview, never lie in your CV, as employers can easily check what is and isn’t true. Being caught in a lie would not only mean being rejected for a job, but may also mean that you are blacklisted from the all future jobs by the same employer.