Every job and company is different and you must tailor your CV in order to best sell yourself to a prospective employer – you want to get an interview!
Your CV needs to be informative and concise, keep your vocabulary professional. Two A4 pages is generally considered a maximum and the most relevant information needs to be on the first page.
Make sure all the information is up-to-date and accurate. Be sure to check your dates, contact details, and your spelling and grammar. Read over your CV again and again, even read it out loud so you can pick up mistakes. Get another pair of eyes to look over your CV, mistakes look sloppy and unprofessional – you want the job and employers appreciate a well written, mistake free CV.
Your CV stands a better chance if it is easy on the eye to follow. Have separate sections with clear headings. Some candidates like to have a skills summary or personal profile. No longer than six or seven lines, this is a concise summary of your major selling points – why they would want to hire you. Important sections to include in your CV are:
- Personal details – name, address, contact number and email address.
- Work history – start with the most recent employment first. Provide start and end dates for each role, your Job Title and Company Name and whether the position is a Full-time, Part Time, Temporary, Permanent, Voluntary, Internship position etc.
- Education and Qualifications – start with the most recent position first. Highlight relevant qualifications / courses that are related to the job.
- Computer skills – detail software package(s) and proficiency.
- Hobbies and Interests – this will give the employer an insight into your personality.
Other sections you may wish to consider are a Skills Summary; Achievements; Special Projects or Languages section. These may be important sections in order to sell yourself for a particular role, remember, target your CV…
Your CV must match the requirements in the job advertisement that you are applying for. Put yourself in your potential employers’ shoes, imagine it is your company and you are looking for the ideal candidate for the role. You must highlight the most relevant experience you have to date, your achievements that relate to the role and also suggest the potential you have. Have snappy bullet points with a brief description of your tasks and responsibilities. Employers are looking for candidates who want a career with their company – driven with the desire to succeed.
You can state on your CV that references are available upon request. If you do state references on your CV, it is considered good manners to ask people prior to your CV being sent to a potential employer that they are willing to serve as your reference.