Writing a Curriculum Vitae (the posh name for a CV) is an important step towards reaching your dream career, and nailing it can bag serious brownie points when it comes to progressing through the recruitment process.
As a leading recruiter of some of the best temporary staff in the North West, we know a thing or two when it comes to what makes a CV stand out from the crowd (and believe us, applications can get seriously crowded with them). We’ve picked five key areas to look at to make your CV more ‘Hire me!’ than ‘File me!’.
If you’re applying for a job as a rocket scientist, your two months spent pouring pints at your local probably won’t be high up on your potential employers of priorities when it comes to finding out about you. Instead, keep your past work experience relevant to what your applying for.
This helps potential employers understand more about what experience you may have in the field, as well as any areas where you may need additional training or guidance. This not only makes it easier for interviewers to identify you as a potential candidate, but also allows you to be upfront and honest about your suitability. Honesty is something highly valued by every employer, and can certainly put you in good stead moving forward.
It’s no good writing the best CV of your life if the company you want to work for don’t know how to contact you. It sounds strange, but it really does happen. Make sure you include up to date and correct contact information at the top of your CV.
It seems basic, but these details are vital if you actually want a chance at grabbing an interview, you won’t be able to attend if you don’t know when it is! It is recommended to include two phone numbers rather than just your mobile, with a landline being a perfect backup should your mobile signal be poor when they’re trying to call.
Most communication regarding interviews and job opportunities is done by email, so it is always worth double (then triple) checking you’ve written the correct email address if you’re handing it in physically. If you’re submitting your application through an online jobs portal, make sure you have access to the email you’ve included on the application.
Standing out from the crowd
First impressions count, even if that first impression is a piece of A4 paper.
Spicing up your CV with a small amount of colour, clever layout or even a small photograph of yourself can be a fantastic way to let a little bit of your personality spill out onto paper. The ‘traditional’ CV can get a little boring when it comes to potential employers scrolling through hundreds of applications, after all, there is only so many walls of black text on white paper that one person can read.
Carefully plotting how your CV should look can have a real benefit when it comes to trying to impress, we’re all different and our CV should show it!
Not everybody has the literacy skills of a contestant from University Challenge, but correct spelling and use of grammar is crucial, especially if the job you’re applying for is an admin role.
Computer literacy is quickly becoming a basic requirement for most jobs, and in the fast-paced digital age it can be easy to forget the odd comma or full stop.
Taking extra care to read over your CV, and check it for any potential mistakes is a simple task that can make all the difference. If you’re unsure about your own grammar, or don’t feel confident enough to proof read your CV, ask a friend to help or failing that, many job centres offer free CV advice and support.
Keep it short
Employers don’t want to read War & Peace, they want to see a brief, informative description of your skills and experience.
It can sometimes be tempting to write thousands of words making yourself sound as good as possible, but Employers will be far more interested in your industry experience than your hike through the mountains in 2010 or your keen interest in cross stitch.
Short, snappy sentences combined with compact paragraphs will make your CV much tidier and easier to read. Plus, your ability to write efficiently and precisely will put you in good stead for any administration based roles.