We are all aware how vital it is to have the ideal CV, it is, after all, a potential employer's first introduction to you but how do you set about writing it? What details should you include and what should you leave out? We at AllChichesterJobs want to help you in improving your chances of getting that want so here are tips for making the right first impression.
We are all aware it's obvious but a Curriculum Vitae (CV) should on all occasions be typed to give it the greatest clarity possible. It should also be well presented. Think about how it looks on the page. There should be clear headings and breaks between paragraphs. A prospective employer will probably look through loads of CVs for a job so they should be able to read the important information at a glance before short listing it for a additional thorough read through. A shoddily laid out CV which is not easy to read will probably end up in the bin.
Most employers want a CV to start with a personal statement as it allows them to see straightaway what you are about. What should this include?
Make sure you give these questions serious thought before you decide upon the answers as they should be expected to be questioned at interview. Here's an example of the type of thing could say:
' I am clever, a conscientious worker and passionate about any challenges I take on. My workto date has all been decidedly customerorientated and I have found this to be very enjoyable. I have spent the last several years in a sales environment and I enjoy the interaction with different types of people this brings. I feel I am intelligent and would like the opportunity to use. During my time at Houses R US Estate Agents especially enjoyed learning as much as possible about the technical and legal parts of the conveyancing process and feel that I absorbed it quickly. I am very much keen to take on a challenging role with the chance to progress and train where possible. I am also extremely IT literate and very much enjoy using computers as part of my working life.'
The next section should be your education if it is particularly relevant to the job to which you are applying. For example, if you have a degree in French and you are applying for a multilingual position then it is useful to state this first. However, if you are of the opinion that your education is not especially relevant and you are applying on the strength of your experience then it is worth possibly putting your work history first.
Your education should be put in reverse order with the most recent education received at the top. It is not necessary to go into vast amounts of detail here, purely state where you studied and what grades you were awarded. It is not necessary to put the dates of study if you do not wish to as, under the Age Discrimination Law, you are not required to make any reference to your age and including dates from which your age may be obvious. Remember to include information of any additional certificates you might have achieved which may be important to the position.
Like education, it must be laid out in reverse order, the most recent or current employment at the beginning. You should state the name of the company and the period of time you worked for them (this does not have to be dates but you should indicate for how long you were employed in that role). It is also important to indicate where the employer was based, e.g. Chichester. You should also clearly state what your job title was. Underneath explain succinctly what your job role was and your main tasks. This should help a potential employer determine whether your experience makes you suitable for their vacancy. Try to be succinct and keep it to only relevant information.
It is not advisable to put your salary for each role undertaken on your CV as this can make an employer to make assumptions about your suitability for a position and make negotiating your salary, where applicable, harder. Similarly the same could also be said for putting your salary expectation on your CV.
It is common for people to put a small amount of personal information, such as hobbies, on their CV. We would recommend keep this to a minimum. You should, however, state whether you hold a driving licence and whether you own your own car etc.
There has also been a noticeable shift away from employers liking to see photos on a CV. For most roles it is not necessary to include a photo but if you would like to it ought to be passport photo sized and professional in appearance.
It is highly important that you make sure all spelling and punctuation are perfect. Literacy is often highly valued to employers so use the 'Spell Check' facility on your computer.
Ask a friend or contact to read through your CV. Ask them to confirm that it looks presentable and easy to read. You should also ask them to check your spelling and grammar.
When applying for a role you should incorporate a covering letter. This should indicate why you are applying for this job in particular and a little bit about the experience and/or skills you have which could be useful to them (avoid repeating too much from the CV itself).
Remember that it is not necessarily 'one CV fits all', it is important spending a few moments reviewing your CV before each occasion you send it to check it makes the greatest impact for each particular opening. You may want to think about changing some information, particularly your personal statement, to suit the job description.