Job hunting, applying for new roles, waiting hopefully on a phone call for an interview, are all tiring and stressful tasks. And getting your CV right can be one of the most tasking of all, it’s a simple bit of paper, that holds the key to you being asked for interview, or you being passed over for another applicant, so making the most of your CV is the best way to get your foot in the door. But how do you make your CV stand out from the rest, what information is essential for you to provide and what can you do once you’ve emailed it to increase your interview potential? In the rest of this guide, we’ll take a look at how you can write the perfect CV to help get you that new job you’ve been looking for.
If you’re looking for that perfect new role and have got your CV up to scratch, then check out our jobs board and see what roles we’re recruiting for today!
What information should I include in my CV?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the layout and design of your CV, and as such will rely on the type of role, industry and role advert, but there a number of items that you should always include in your CV.
This seems like an obvious one, and it’s easy to include, just by adding your name and contacts details in the header of your CV, but the number of applicants that send in CVs and completely forget to do this is staggering. The simple truth with this one, if you forget it or just don’t bother to include it, you’ve got no chance of getting the job, why? How can the employer or recruitment agency get in touch with you, or even know who you are, without it!
This is usually one of the first things that anyone will see on your CV and so it’s essential to ensure you stand out from the rest, this is where you get to tell your potential employer who you are and what makes you perfect for the role. Remember you only want this to be a simple paragraph in length but it needs to hold the most vital information that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Skills and Qualifications
This section can be a standalone part of your CV or simply worked into your work experience section, but if you’ve got the room on your CV it always helps to highlight what skills and qualifications you have. And when we say qualifications we don’t mean your GCSE’s or degree but any specific qualifications or relevant industry memberships you may have, that relate to the role you’re applying for. Be cautious here of using buzzwords that employers and recruiters see over and over again, and which tend to put them off, examples are things like: “Excellent Communication Skills”, “Goal Driven” or “Team Player”. If you must include such terms, back them up with an example of where you showed such skills in your previous roles.
This section is, of course, essential to show all your previous work history, starting with the most recent first. For each role, highlight the organisation’s name, your job title and the dates of your employment. Then outline some of your core duties, showing skills and experience from that role, that you employed and that will apply to the role you’re applying for, as well as highlighting any achievements you received. In this section it’s also worth covering any reasons for gaps in your career history, saving it from being highlighted at the interview stage, and possibly causing an awkward conversation.
Interests and Hobbies
It’s not always essential that you include this aspect in your CV but if you have the room, it’s a great place to again make yourself stand out from all the other applicants and leave your recruiter or potential employer to find something to relate to and want to learn more about. So, if you’re a keen sports player, take part in a performing art or have taken part in something unique and interesting mention it here. This isn’t a place your employer is looking to learn, you enjoy going out with your mates or taking long walks on the beach, if it doesn’t sound that interesting, it’s better left unsaid.
How should I present my CV?
Your CV provides the first impressions of you, to both recruiter and employer, and just as you should turn up to an interview smartly dressed and on time, your CV should be clear and smart looking. Utilise a clear and clean layout for your CV so it’s easy to follow and identify your main skills and experiences. A cluttered and messy CV will simply find itself thrown in the bin, without more than a quick glance.
Here are a couple tips to ensure your CV is easy to follow:
- Keep your CV short and easy to digest, you shouldn’t have to use any more than two sides of A4.
- Lay your CV out in a logical order, with clear headlines and spacing and use a professional easy to read font.
- As we mentioned earlier, order your work experiences, achievements and skills in chronological order to highlight the most recent first.
- An important one – Check your spelling and grammar thoroughly!
What do I do once I’ve sent my CV?
Completing your CV and sending it to your employer or a recruiter isn’t the end to your job application process, in a couple days’ time reach out to the contact via phone, if possible, though email will suffice, lending a voice to your application. Enquire if they received it and if they’ve had a chance to look at it, don’t worry if they haven’t yet. But if they have, then ask if they have any questions regarding your experience and skills, or ask a question yourself about the role to further show your interest. And finish the conversation by reinforcing exactly why you feel you’re a great candidate for the role.
So there you have it a simple guide to getting your CV spot on for that next job application, and once you’ve received that phone call for that all important interview, check out our blog on how to successfully attend a job interview. If you’re currently looking for a new role then head over to our job boards and see what roles we’re recruiting for in North West today!