Tips for writing a strong CV
Having a well written CV is a must when applying for jobs. But how do you write and set up your CV so that it is filled with details that employers want to know, as well as being easy to read? Try these 6 tips:
1. Keep it simple
When you are developing your CV, remember the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid! Well, maybe not the ‘stupid’ bit! Choose an easy to read font and only use conventional colours – which means nothing too bright or unusual. Whilst it is important to ensure your CV gets attention, the focus of your CV should be on the content, not what it looks like.
2. Start with your contact details
Make sure you list your name and contact details at the beginning of your CV. This will include your best contact phone number and an email address that you regularly use. Employers will use your email address and phone number if they wish to interview you for a job, so it is essential these details are correct.
3. List your strengths
After your contact details, include a section which lists your strengths. Strengths can include personal traits, such as ‘being friendly and approachable’, as well as specific abilities that relate to your employability, such as ‘strong customer service skills’. In this section, you should also highlight any expertise required for the types of jobs you are interested in, such as ‘experienced Microsoft Office user’ if you are applying for administration roles. Overall, this section of your CV should be a summary of the skills and experience you can provide to an employer.
4. Use a set format when providing job details
Next, your working experience. This is where you provide details of each job you have performed. This could be for paid work or for other types of work experience, such as volunteering or internships. It is recommended you provide job details in reverse chronological order which means the most recent job should be first. As a result, make sure you provide dates for each role. Use the same format for each job – maybe even set up a table – to provide the same type of information for every role. Start with the job title and the name of the company or organisation you worked for. Provide bullet points for the key aspects of each job and list any achievements whilst you were working in each role. Keep the information about each job as succinct as possible.
5. Add in your education and training
Once you have completed details of the jobs you have performed, list out any qualifications you have and any training you have completed. Again, it is best to do this in reverse chronological order, so provide the date or year in which you finished or were awarded the qualification. If you are currently completing a course that is relevant to the job requirements, make sure you include details of this as well, stating when you are expected to complete this qualification or training.
6. Remember, the little things matter
Your CV represents you and therefore it is crucial there are no mistakes in it. Check your spelling and make sure the names of any organisations or businesses are correct. Even get a friend to read your final draft with a fresh set of eyes. Finally, print out your CV at home before you send it, just to make sure it looks just as you would like it to.
Other than that, good luck with your CV writing and winning that next job!
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