How to write a successful CV Part 1-IntroductionGetting a strong CV ready is an important part of the job searching process. A good curriculum vitae (CV) is essential when looking for work, especially now, when there are often so many candidates for the same position.
Your objective is to get to an interview, Your CV needs to make you stand out from the crowd and ensure you get to that stage.
Your CV and covering letter are your chance to show an employer the best of what you’ve got and who you are. It’s about selling your skills and experience, and showing them you’re the right person for the job. It should make it easy for employers to appraise your key skills and work experience to determine whether you’re appropriate for the role.
How you write your CV and covering letter is up to you, but there are some basic rules to follow if you want to create the best impression. Opinions vary as to the best template or format to use; there is no definitive answer. It will depend on a number of factors including the stage of your career, the type of position you are applying for, and the country in which you are applying to work. Some sectors may require a different emphasis on a particular part of the content, for example if you work in a profession, qualifications will be important. In a technical sector skills may be considered more important than career history.
Don’t assume that one CV will serve for all applications. You should review it and target it for each position you apply for. Many people have several CV’s, if they have worked in several sectors. They may have a general one, and different one designed to appeal to a certain sector, such as sales.
There are some basic rules on how a CV should be written and the information that should be included. We will look at some examples and samples in detail later.
- A CV should be neat and typed in a business like font. Pay attention to formatting, and check your spelling. Incorrect spelling is a sure route to rejection.
- The document should be positive, highlighting your career achievements and strengths, and clearly show your fit for the position for which you are applying.
Check a handful of adverts for the type of job you are applying for and then use the common requirements to tailor your CV. The more information you have about the job role, duties and responsibilities, the better you can do this. So if you can get hold of a job description, go through it carefully, and highlight in your CV wherever you can demonstrate that you meet the specification.
The basic information usually included in a CV would be:
- Your personal details. Include your name, phone number, email address and professional social media presence if relevant. You do not need to include your address, for security reasons, or your date of birth, because of age discrimination concerns.
- A personal profile or statement. This should be tailored towards the job you are applying for, and promote yourself and your abilities.
- Significant achievements, if appropriate. If you have an established career, you should next list any significant achievements that are relevant. This is an opportunity to quantify your achievements. For example –“I Grew sales by 20% per annum”, “I produced above target reduction in overheads”, “I cultivated relationships with existing clients achieving a 30% increase in repeat business”.
- Career history. It is usual to start with your most recent job first and include relevant dates.
Qualifications and training. Both academic, and from previous jobs, with the most recent first.
Interests, if they are relevant and especially if the skills are relevant for the position.
- Any additional information. Perhaps you need to explain a career change or gaps in your career history.
- Two references. Include a recent employer
Before each application review your CV against the job specification and make sure that it highlights that you’re the right match for the job.
Check you have outlined
- Specific skills you have to offer the employer
- Experience you have in the specific field
- Appropriate personal qualities for the role
- An understanding of the job requirements
Download this checklist, complete the form as you follow the course and make your CV the best it can be.