How to write a successful CV

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Your CV is a tool with one purpose: to gain an interview. It should present you in the best possible light and convince a prospective employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this specific position or career.

You don't have much time to impress with your CV - research shows that employers scan read CVs - so to make sure it stimulates interest, follow these basic tips and download our CV template:

 

  • Avoid coloured paper or type, fancy fonts or clever delivery approaches
  • Be truthful and don't be afraid to sell your skills
  • Keep the look simple and make your point quickly (download our CV template as a guide)
  • Use the past tense and choose strong action verbs
  • Avoid speaking about yourself in the third person
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms that other people might not understand
  • Tailor your resume for each specific application
  • Include the company profile of the organisations that you have worked for but keep it short
  • Make your CV results oriented: give proof to back up your capability statements
  • Always proof read your CV

Include the essential personal information:

  • Your full name
  • Full address
  • Telephone numbers (day/evening/mobile)
  • Email address

Here are 3 things that will strengthen your CV:

  1. Qualifications: list both academic and non-academic qualifications in chronological order, giving grades. do not include irrelevant information
  2. Employment history: beginning with your most recent job, include your responsibilities, duration of employment and reasons for leaving. Do not omit any period of employment for whatever reason, as this may prove awkward at interview
  3. Personal interests: listing your interests is important, but do not generalise. For example, instead of simply saying 'football', you could expand and say that you have played for a local club for the last four years and are now publicity officer for the committee (but only if this is true)

Your CV is your passport to the interview stage so make sure you dedicated enough time to updating and improving it.

Find out how to write an outstanding cover letter or read our top tips for interviewing via Skype.

If you’re looking for a new role and would like some career advice please don’t hesitate to contact one of specialist consultants.

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