Writing a great CV is challenging – where to start, what to include, what to leave out, how much detail to go into, formatting, style…so much to consider! You know that you have circa 10 seconds to grab the attention of the reader and get them interested in you.
Hands down, it’s the question we get asked most as a recruitment agency – ‘what makes the perfect CV’?
So, here are our top ten tips:
1. The order of things – what’s most recent is usually most relevant - always list your roles in reverse chronological order, most recent jobs first
2. One size doesn’t fit all – tailoring your CV to specific jobs will give you a much bigger chance of snagging an interview
3. Image is everything - make it look good – short & snappy sentences, bullet points, white space around text and between sections, don’t use lots of boxes and graphs and keep it to under 2 pages!
4. Please mind the gap - gaps on your CV immediately trigger suspicious. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but try to put a positive spin on it – list any things such as courses or volunteering…
5. All about you - employers won’t always see how your experience relates to the role: include a short personal statement to explain why your skills make you the best person for the job. (Include it in your cover letter too!)
6. Numbers talk – backing up your achievements with figures is very effective – from ‘I grew traffic to the website’ to ‘I increased traffic to the website by 120% in 10 months
7. Explain yourself – there’s no need to include explanations for leaving your role after each job, this conversation will naturally take place during an interview
8. Ain’t that the truth – don’t lie on your CV…just no! The truth generally comes out at some point, so keep it honest
9. See the error of your ways - ensure there are no typos, spelling mistakes or errors. It’s always worth asking someone to copy check it for you, as it can be hard to spot errors in your own work
10. The finishing touch – ensure your CV best represents you, letting your personality shine through (well, to a point!)