Get the most out of your CV
The thought of writing a curriculum vitae or CV for short, fills many with dread. You know your CV can have just 10 seconds to prove your interview worth and first impressions will determine the organisation’s decision making.
We have put together some useful hints and tips regarding your CV so that you can improve your own document that is easy to read, packed with facts recruiters and employers want to know, and beat your competition.
- With as little as 10 seconds to impress the recruiter or potential employer, your CV will need to sell you! You must prioritise the content of your CV, detailing the salient points of most interest to your reader first.
- Avoid showing large chunks of text giving examples of your responsibilities. Most recruiters and potential employers will not have the time to be able to read and digest this amount of information quickly.
- A CV should stand out on its own so it is not necessary to resort to utilising different colours, logos and fonts. Keep the CV to two pages or less, use one font size throughout and keep the layout professional and easy to read as your readers are far more interested in the content than they are its appearance.
- A suitable typeface is Times Roman or a similar business font. The size should be 10 or 11 point, depending on pagination settings. As a check for size, with 2.5cm (1 in) left and right hand margins there should be 15 - 18 words on a line.
- It is crucial that your CV attracts the widest audience possible so try to avoid specific terminology that recruiters and employers outside your current marketplace would not understand.
- Your CV should always market you effectively. It needs to be self-oriented, to spell out how your skills and traits will benefit your next employer. You need to reflect your specific, personal contribution towards delivering consistent achievements for your employer.
- Achievements are the best way of reflecting how good you are so demonstrate your unique contributions to a company.
- Try to avoid a key skills section as these skills are purely theoretical. Employers would rather see how you utilise these skills in a working environment with quantifiable examples of success.
- Employers are most interested in seeing how you have made specific and measurable differences rather than reading your job description.
- What employers most want to know is what’s in it for them, and you need to reflect this in your CV. You should have an achievements section in which you can showcase each of your specific transferable skills and show how you are going to benefit the potential company.
- A positive attitude will help you succeed. If you feel good about yourself, you will influence your environment positively and employers will want to hire you. A positive image on paper will inspire the employer to have faith in your worth and the valuable contribution you can make to a company.
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