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Marketing yourself with a great CV

Posted in Candidates on Nov 21, 2017 by Keeley Edge

Although some companies are adopting new and creative ways for candidates to apply for their vacancies, a CV application is still the most popular way for companies to assess the suitability of candidates against a specific vacancy.


FIRST IMPRESSIONS

CVs are valuable and important because they are your first opportunity to make an impression with a potential employer. It’s probably better to view a CV as a personal marketing document. Presentation is key and for this reason alone, it should be carefully thought out, designed and written so that it makes an immediate positive impact on key decision makers.

When a reader looks at your CV they should be able to quickly gain a clear indication of your experiences and potential. Bear in mind that the person reading it will never have met you and will be reviewing lots of CV’s at the same time. Your CV gives a summary of your career history, academic qualifications and explains your future potential. It ideally shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages, so it’s easy and concise for the prospective employer to read.


ATTENTION TO DETAIL

 Always remember that the aim of a CV is to get an interview for a specific job. Make sure that your experience is relevant to the job that you are applying for and your CV is free of spelling and formatting mistakes, as it will reflect you as a person.

Getting the tone and content right for your CV is important and this can be the toughest task as people tend not to like writing about themselves. Some feel a bit odd at having to boast about themselves, while others go the other way and are tempted to oversell themselves, running the risk of getting caught out at a future date. Take time to review the dates of your past employment, be honest about your strengths and only include factual information about your previous duties and responsibilities.

 

 TIPS FOR WRITING A GREAT CV

Whether you’re creating a CV for the first time or refreshing one that you’ve had a for a while, the following key areas should help you on your way to writing the perfect CV.

Presentation

  • Use a plain type face that is easy to read – not too small that you need a magnifying glass or too big which will make it look unprofessional – approx. 11pt is best

  • Avoid decorative fonts – you want to be noticed for what you say, not how you present it

  • Try to keep your CV to two pages – long CV’s contain too much information for reader

  • Try not to use abbreviated words or too much industry specific jargon - the person screening may not be a technical expert in your field

Structure

  • Put your name right at the top of the front page, with your contact details directly underneath.

  • Have a clear structure that's easy to understand and read. Your aim is to present facts about yourself concisely and with clarity

  • Use bullet points rather than paragraphs when detailing duties and responsibilities, which can sometimes lead to unnecessary wordiness

  • Your educational history, academic achievements and work experience should be listed in reverse order – university degree should come before your school exam results

  • Never leave gaps. If you took a year out, or carried out interim assignments, say so – otherwise, employers can suspect the worst.

  • Leave your hobbies and interests until last – and keep this section short. Only include this section, if your hobbies add something of interest to your CV.

Double-check and proofread

  • Check your CV carefully – always run a spell check over it carefully and re-read to ensure accuracy; ask a friend to check it too

  • Your CV is the first impression your potential employer will have of you

  • Take the time to get it right – you may not have a second chance


Once you have created your CV, why not check out our Vacancies to see if there is anything that is suitable for you.

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