How to write a CV – Curriculum Vitae
How to write a CV – Curriculum Vitae
Two pages are usually long enough for a CV. Reverse chronological order is best.
It should be aimed at selling yourself to the recruiter in less than 30 seconds. It pays to have a clear idea of what you are aiming for. Make notes about your strengths and weaknesses, areas you have excelled in, your ideal work environment and your mid to long term professional goals.
Here are a few suggested guidelines:
The summary page should make an immediate impact on the recruiter, it comprises of the following:
A descriptive profile:
A descriptive profile of your professional status (e.g. Credit Manager, backed up by key features of your professional career and also including your immediate ambitions.)
This is punchy, precise and no longer than a few sentences.
Listed as bullet points. Eight points is usually enough and they are relevant to the particular position and concisely written. This includes your formal training (e.g. MICM membership) and also workplace acumen such as proven skilful negotiator. Do quantify your results (e.g. “reduced ‘debtor days’ from 65 to 39)”.
Again, three bullet points of your significant achievements are fine.
Recent job experience:
with job title, Company name and the date you started. This is followed by a two-sentence description of the role and about six bullet points of your key responsibilities, tasks and achievements in the role.
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Secondary work experience and qualifications can appear on the second page. If you have a long, important, career history then you can indulge yourself onto a third page. Details of jobs held more than 10 years ago, minute details of your present job, reasons for leaving a previous job, current and past salaries and details of referees can all be left out.
Don’t forget, less is more! Avoid squeezing too much onto one page. Use white space to effect and choose a font that is pleasing on the eye.
If you are happy with your CV, remember:
> It is a script for talking about yourself.
> It must highlight your achievements and how they relate to the job you are applying for.
It is a good idea to be able to talk about the items in your CV because naturally you will be asked about them. The purpose of the CV is to get an interview.
Name, address, contact telephone numbers day, evening and mobile, e-mail address, date of birth, nationality, gender, driving license, vehicle owner, willingness to relocate…
Put Educational details in Reverse Chronological order
Detailed information on grades for O-Level or GCSE is not required. Just state the number of exams passed, grades A – C, including Maths or English.
Interests and Achievements
This gives you an opportunity to portray something about your personality and what you do in your free time. Only mention achievements that are recent.
There is no need to write the details of your referees on the CV, simply state that references are available on request.
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CV Dos & Don’ts:
> Do put on your CV your employment and education in reverse chronological order.
> Create your CV on a Word Document for emailing. Use clear crisp font, and avoid unnecessary graphics, colour or special effects.
> Do provide a covering letter stating why you would be applicable for the position.
> Do tailor your CV for the position you are applying to. e.g. for a credit controller role, explain why previous customer base and market place experience is relevant to the role for which you are applying.
> Do always quantify your success where possible e.g. (Saved the company 50,000 in interest payments through improvements to cash flow).
> Make your CV easy on the eye, with lots of white space.
> Do use bullet points when providing a description. Restrict yourself to five or six points.
>Do highlight headings such as personal details, etc.
> Don’t waffle or use long words for the sake of it .
> Don’t write in conversational tone – use third person.
> Don’t list your school qualifications in too much detail, unless you are a fresh graduate.
> Don’t leave career gaps – if you have spent time traveling, say so.
> Don’t lie!