Friday, 16 September 2016

How do I make my CV stand out?

Recruitment consultants at The Lady Recruits Victoria Senior and Sarah Renwick compile their top tips to make your CV sparkle

This is the question so many people ask; keen to ensure that their Curriculum Vitae (CV) catches the eye of a prospective employer. It is true that there are differing opinions on how to prepare a CV but it is universally accepted that a CV should be tailored to fit the requirements of each application and should not be prepared once and the same one sent out repeatedly. Often we hear on the news that a member of the public has applied for '150 vacancies' and got nowhere; it is not a case of just applying for a position, it is hard work and requires considerable focus and effort from the candidate. Below are some basic principles which should be adhered to if you are to present yourself, on paper, as a serious candidate for a job

Your CV should be two pages long (three maximum) of an A4 sheet. Start with a header 'Curriculum Vitae' then your name, address and mobile contact details. Then put a header such as 'Personal Statement' or 'Profile' and say something about you; your character traits and your work ethic and approach to your work. This should be a paragraph of no more than 8-10 lines and should give the right impression about your abilities and personal attributes. Do not repeat your work experience because that comes next.

The next header is 'Work Experience' which should be detailed chronologically, with your current position first, working back to the first position you took since leaving school (there should be no gaps but, if some aspect of your career or travel abroad are not relevant to the position for which you are applying, these need not be detailed fully). Ensure that you show dates/year to and from, your job title and your employer's name and location (city or county will suffice). At all times remember that the person reading your CV knows nothing about you. It is, therefore, important that you provide enough information to highlight your skills and experience, to build an interesting picture of yourself, such that the reader wants to learn more about you. Remember to keep to the facts and details of the role you carried out.

Your next title is 'Education and Qualifications'. In the same way, provide the dates/years, the educational establishments and your achievements from school onwards.
Finally, your 'Interests'; just a one word list is enough because 'beekeeping' , for example, provides enough fact for an interesting chat at the end of your interview.

• Spelling and grammar are vitally important so proof read your CV thoroughly.
• Keep to the facts and highlight the skills you have which relate to the position for which you are applying so that they can be clearly seen.
Highlight/bold headers and your job titles and keep to black ink which looks more business-like and colours do not photocopy well in black and white.
• Send a covering email or letter, as appropriate, with your CV. This should explain in one or two paragraphs, why you are interested in the position and what you think you can bring to the role. Finish by saying that you hope they find your application of interest and you would be grateful for the opportunity to discuss your application further at interview.

Good Luck!

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