Every CV is different. A CV is the document for you to ‘market’ yourself to prospective and future employers in order to secure your dream job!
When formatting your CV it is important to use an easily readable font (e.g. Calibri or Arial) with a point size between 10 – 12. Each section should have a clear heading distinguished by the font being in bold so it is easier for recruiters to glean the right information.
Ideally you should try and keep your CV to a maximum length of 2 pages. Obviously, if it is shorter or longer this is not the end of the world, but by keeping it to this length you are more likely to keep the attention of the recruiter and ensure that they are only seeing the most important information about you.
The key information areas for your CV:
1. Personal Details
Start your CV off with your details – keep it simple – name, contact details: email address and telephone number. You can also put where you live e.g. Town / County to help companies see your location in respect to their office or job on offer. There is no need for you to put your date of birth as this is not something that employers need to know.
2. Personal Profile
A personal statement on who you are, what you can offer and even your career objectives – keep it short and tailor it to the job that you are applying for. If you are applying for lots of jobs then this section is your chance to show what qualities you have that match the role. A personal profile is the ideal opportunity to grab the attention of the recruiter/employer.
3. Experience / Employment History
Use this section to list your previous roles and experience with your most recent or current role first. If you have a number of entries for this section over a long period of time then it is recommended to not go back more than 10 years. Or showcase the roles that are most relevant in highlighting your suitability for the job you are applying for.
The formatting of this should include; job title, employer / company name, dates of employment and a summary of the role. A good idea is to bullet point key responsibilities, skills or achievements that stand out from the different roles that you have had which showcase qualities that match the role you are applying for. If you have had breaks in your career history you can also explain these if needed in this section.
4. Education & Qualifications
Like the section above your educational history should be listed in reverse chronological order. It is a good idea to include: institute name, dates of study, qualification names and then the grades achieved. If you have done a degree and it is relevant to the job that you are applying for it is worth listing any significant modules that you studied. In this section you should also cover any professional qualifications you have achieved. This will show how you have continued your professional development and continued to improve your knowledge throughout your career.
5. Key Skills
What systems do you have experience of using? Can you use a PC and a Mac? Use this section to list any skills that will stand out and are significant for the job. It is important that you don’t get carried away and list everything. Keep it to 4 or 5 bullet points grouping the skills into areas which match the role you are applying for.
6. Personal Interests
What hobbies or interests do you have? It is a good idea to have a short section showing what you like to do outside of work. This gives the recruiter/employer a chance to get to know you on a personal level and an idea of the type of person you are.
These 6 key areas should be covered on your CV, there is no harm in adding that references are available on request but the information does not need to be on the document. One key point to remember is to make sure you proof read your CV before sending it out. There is nothing worse than potential employers receiving it with errors in the document as this will not set a good first impression.
By using the above guidance you will have a great CV ready to secure your dream job!