When you are looking for a new job, writing your CV can be the most rewarding action you can take. If you write a good concise CV, you are more likely to be invited for an interview and be successful in obtaining a new role. On average, an employer will spend no more that 5-10 seconds looking at your CV, so having a clear layout with the relevant information clearly shown is essential. Here are a few rules that should help you to produce or check your own CV.
1. CONCENTRATE ON THE ESSENTIALS
- A CV must be brief; in most cases one page is sufficient. In any event, do not exceed two pages.
- If your work experience is limited, describe your education and training first; highlight work placements during training.
2. BE CLEAR AND CONCISE
- Use short sentences.
- Concentrate on the relevant aspects of your training and work experience.
- Explain any breaks in your studies or career.
3. ADAPT YOUR CV TO SUIT EACH JOB
- Before sending your CV to an employer, check that it corresponds to the profile required focusing on any skills listed specifically in the job specification.
- Do not include work experience or training which is not relevant to the application.
- Highlight your advantages according to the specific needs of the prospective employer.
- Beware; do not artificially inflate your CV; if you do, you are likely to be found out at interviews.
4. TAKE CARE OVER THE PRESENTATION OF YOUR CV
- Set out your skills and competencies clearly and logically, so that your advantages stand out.
- Pay attention to details such as spelling and punctuation.
- Use a narrow margin document to give yourself more space.
- NB: Print your CV on white paper. We suggest Arial 10 or 11 pt as the font.
5. CHECK YOUR CV ONCE YOU HAVE FILLED IT IN
- Remove any spelling mistakes, and ensure it is laid out clearly and logically.
- Have someone else re-read your CV so that you are sure the content is clear and easy to understand.
If you don’t know where to start in writing the perfect CV, you can download our template below. With handy hints about what to put in and what to keep out, it guides you towards creating the CV that represents you at your best.