Writing a good CV can be a difficult task, especially when most employers spend just a few seconds scanning each CV before making a decision to either stick it in the 'Yes' pile or throw it in the bin. Harsh, but very true.
Don't worry, we have compiled what we believe are the 10 most important features of a good CV, to guide you through the process.
When writing your CV ensure that you include the following sections: Contact details, Personal profile, Education History, Work experience, Qualifications and Interests. By ensuring you include all of the above, you are giving the employer a full breakdown of your experiences and also an insight into your personality, which will enable them to make an informed decision about you and your suitability.
Don't over do it. A CV should be no longer then 3 pages (2 'A4' pages ideally). On average it takes an employer 8 seconds to scan a CV before making an overall decision, by including your life story you are buying a one-way ticket to the 'No' pile. Keep your CV punchy, including only the relevant details, to keep it to the point.
3. Grammar and Spellings
Employers WILL notice mistakes on your CV, and sometimes will take the time to go looking for them. So beware. When employers receive high volumes of CVs, silly spelling mistakes are the simplest way to get your CV dismissed instantly. Take time to check your CV thoroughly, and if you are unsure, use a spell-checker to double check. Mistakes are avoidable, and by submitting a CV riddled with errors, you are reducing your opportunity of securing an interview. You have been warned.
4. Tailor your CV
When your applying for a number of jobs, whizzing your CV over to numerous employers seems the easiest option. However, in order to make a good impression, take a good look at the job you are applying for and read the job description very carefully. It is important when you apply for a job that your CV has the necessary skills and qualifications listed that will showcase exactly why you are ideal for the role. Make sure you tailor your CV and covering letter to the job description.
5. Keep it Updated
Make sure that you regularly update your CV. By submitting an out of date CV you are not giving yourself the best chance for success, as an employer may reject your application for this reason. Anytime something significant happens in your career, or you receive a new qualification or achievements/training, add the details to your CV whether your looking for a new job or not.
6. Tell the truth
One of the most important things to remember whilst writing your CV is to always be truthful about your experiences and skills. Don't be tempted to stretch the truth too far on your CV as it may land you in hot water should an employer quiz you on your knowledge and expertise.
7. Sell yourself
In a challenging job market, where competition amongst candidates is fierce, you really need to sell yourself. Imagine your CV as a sales tool. Make it as interesting and engaging as you can for the reader so that you market yourself in the best way possible and they want to read more about you.
A CV should stand out on its own, without tacky techniques such as logos, bright colours or unnecessary images. Use one font throughout your CV and keep the layout professional and easy to read.