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One to One - CV Advice

Help & Advice with my CV

Think of your CV as your business card!  Apart from the deeds of your house, some would say that your CV is the most important document that you will ever own! It is not surprising how many job seekers spend hours applying for jobs but fall at the first hurdle because of a badly written CV. A recruiter will spend less than 30 seconds scanning a CV, so it is important that what you put in it and how it is expressed has enough impact to hold the attention of the recruiter for long enough to make the difference. By following basic formatting rules and making sure that the information is clear and concise you will have a much better chance of getting noticed.

Personal details

Always include your name, address, contact numbers and email address. If you wish you can also include details about your age, nationality, and driving licence, but these are not essential.

Work experience

List the most recent experience first, continuing in reverse chronological order. Describe your work experience in short sentences or bullet pointed lines using easy to understand and positive language, always highlight your best achievements.

If you are a career changer or returner to work, make sure that you showcase your work history first, clearly defining the traditional skills that can be classed as transferrable. An example of transferrable skills could range from IT skills to practical skills which have the same fundamental basic elements. As long as you make sure that these are expressed in a succinct way you will increase your chance of standing out from the crowd.

Education

Details of your academic and professional qualifications should be briefly summarised, including the relevant grades attained. If you are a first jobber or School, College or University leaver make sure that you detail your education above your work history.

Skills

Include your specific IT skills and software packages stating your level of proficiency. i.e basic, intermediate or advanced. If you have any additional language skills which would help with your application remember to include these as well. The skills section of your CV should be detailed in the same area as education.

References

It's not necessary to note the details of your referees on your CV, but you should state that details of references are available on request. If this is your first job, it is a good idea to nominate tutors or mentors. Do not forget to ask your referees permission first.

Hobbies

Including these is optional, but keep them short if you do. You won't necessarily better your chances of securing a job just because you like to work out, but it will give a potential interviewer an idea of the things you like to do outside of work. Remember to list any notable accolades or awards that you have won; it shows that you are an achiever!

Presentation

Keep your CV to two sides and use all the space provided. It should look clear and punchy with no frilly graphics or pictures, the content should be in the same text style using different font, bolds and italics to create a eye pleasing document. If you are printing your CV make sure that you use a really good quality paper to compliment your covering letter.

Good luck!