Putting together your CV can be a challenge. Not only that, it can be difficult to let your skills and personality shine through in two pages. Here are some quick tips to help you stand out from the crowd.
- Keep it short. A CV is not your life story. It is a summary of your achievements and employment positions to date. If an employer is interested in what you have to offer they will use your interview as a time to explore your history further. Aim for no more than two pages – which is widely considered the perfect amount of information.
- Use a cover letter. A cover letter is your opportunity to show why you are right for the role you are applying for. Tailor your cover letter for every job you apply for – make sure you check out the job description to ensure the strengths and experience you mention match what the employer is looking for in a candidate.
- Custom create your CV every time. View every job role you apply for as an opportunity to keep your CV up-to-date. As with your cover letter – make sure your CV highlights the key skills and experience your potential new employer is looking for. Take the time to get it right and avoid the temptation to send out the same CV far and wide.
- Spell check! This might seem basic, but you would be surprised by how many errors slip into cover letters and CVs. It is always a good idea to ask someone to do a read through – not only to proof it, but to make sure you aren’t selling yourself short.
- Assess yourself. If you have taken some time off work or have gaps in your CV – contemplate a short course or certificate to help improve your experience, skills and knowledge. Ensuring you are keeping up-to-date with the latest developments in your chosen profession will demonstrate you are keen to learn and at the forefront of your industry.
- Include referees. It is always a good idea to include contact details for two or three referees that will recommend you for the role. Most employers do thorough background checks. By providing details early on you are demonstrating you have nothing to hide and are up front and honest. Include a personal and professional referee. Always seek permission to include your referee’s details and remember to give them a courtesy heads-up to potentially expect a call, once you reach the interview stage.
- Include key attributes. In bullet points write down five to ten key attributes that make you right for the role. These can include personality traits, experience, awards, strengths and skills. Make sure this section has its own header and is towards the top of your CV.
- Include contact details. Make sure you have provided several ways to be contacted – email, mobile and address. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity because your phone was charging!
If you are looking to fill gaps in your CV or demonstrate your willingness to improve – check out our range of online courses.