The following tips will help you put together a stunning CV. Whether it’s your very first CV or your current CV isn’t gaining the traction you hoped it would, take some time today to get it right.
Pay attention to the formatting. You might want to use a CV template as a starting point. There are plenty of free options to choose from online. Use a clear black font that is easy to read. Break your CV up with subheadings, such as ‘Previous work experience’ and ‘Education and training’ and use bullet points to condense information into concise points. Make sure everything lines up properly.
Add a personal statement. Include a short opening paragraph that summarises your skills, experience and interests. A couple of sentences will do. This will help to introduce yourself to prospective employers and will hopefully make them want to read on. For example, if you’re looking for a job in a salon, you could briefly explain your skills and experience and explain that you have a particular interest in massage therapy or manicures. If you’re going for a writing job you could mention a blog you run or a piece of work you have had published. This paragraph will show employers what makes you tick, so think it through carefully!
Tell the truth. You may think everyone lies or ‘embellishes’ their CV, but it’s always best to tell the truth! First of all because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it could be really awkward if you forget something you’ve exaggerated about at the interview stage, or if you are offered the job and one of your references doesn’t check out!
Make it current. Don’t be tempted to fire out an old version of your CV without updating it. Make sure your most recent experience is included and fill in any gaps. You may also wish to remove any outdated information or experience that isn’t relevant to your current career goals. Ideally, you will create a template CV and tailor this to each new job you apply for, but if you’re really pushed for time you could send out a generic CV with a comprehensive cover letter that is specifically designed to meet the criteria of each job description and person specification.
Check for errors! However much of a rush you’re in, check, double check and triple check your CV for typos, extra spaces and inaccuracies. Then get your partner, kids, church friend or neighbour to check through it. It’s amazing what they’ll spot even after you’ve read it 100 times. Don’t rule yourself out of the race because of a silly error!
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Joy Tibbs is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to Premier. Find out more at joyofediting.co.uk and find her on Twitter @joyous25