It can be very hard to get your CV (or Resume) right. It needs to prove you are qualified, entitled, skilled and interesting enough to be worth a second look by an employer. All that in 2 pages?!
Although you can have a basic CV which will form the basis of all later versions, it is worth amending it for each application you make so you can make sure your skills and experience fit with what the employer is looking for. You can work out what this is by reading the job advert, person specification and job description carefully.
- Make sure the format you choose is easy to read- not too cluttered, spaced out with accessible key facts
- Choose a readable font and avoid formatting gimmicks
- Keep it to two pages
- only include what is relevant for the role- think carefully what each detail says about you before including it
- Make it personal- don’t just list what you have done, also cover evidence of what sort of person you are
- Don’t use acronyms unless they are universal to the profession (and not specific to previous jobs)
- Don’t repeat the same information in different places in your CV, address similar themes e.g. similar roles you might have had, in the same section.
- Avoid general statements (such as ‘I am a good communicator’ or ‘I work well independently or as part of a team’); try to back these up with evidence from your personal experience
- Avoid making your CV read like a job description. Remember to add details relevant to you in there too e.g. how you tackled the different responsibilities
- If you include hobbies, draw attention to their relevance; don’t just list them without any supporting
- Discussion e.g. ‘reading’ versus ‘reading historical fiction because it’s a great way to unwind after a stressful day’. You’ve then transformed a statement of your hobby into a piece of evidence that you know how to manage your own stress when you need to.
- If you are short on space you can cut some corners e.g. you could list earlier qualifications such as GCSEs in terms of ‘9 grade a-c GCSEs’ and add more detail for later more directly relevant qualifications.
Let us check over your CV to make sure you are doing yourself justice (and find out how to tweak it to improve your job prospects)