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CV Tips and Advice

The starting point before applying for any job is to have an up to date and presentable CV (Curriculum Vitae). Without it, you will significantly reduce your chances of landing your ideal job. Apply the following advice and tips in order to ensure you get through the door to interview instead of being shown the door.

CV Overview

The purpose of a CV is to provide an accurate overview of you as a person in a written document. It should highlight your employment history, academic successes, personnel achievements and interests to give a rounded account of who you are. This should be reinforced by including a couple of references who can back up your claims. At all times, your CV needs to be accompanied by a cover lever, with a personal touch that is applicable to the job vacancy expressing why you are interested in that specific position and the skills you have to offer.

Tips of how to write your CV

Employers will often be inundated with tens if not hundreds of job applications for just one vacancy. As a result you will likely have just a short time to impress a potential employer with your covering letter and CV. It is therefore essential to ensure that your CV is presentable, concise and enticing. Limit yourself to a maximum of 2 sides of A4 for the CV, and 1 side for the cover letter and have a consistent layout throughout the document with the same sized font and spacing. An obvious tip, but one that many people neglect, is the important of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Ensure that you have checked and re-checked all of the above and get a friend to double check, as to an employer there are no excuses for poor use of the English language.

What you must do

  • Use a standard typeface and font size (e.g. Ariel, size 11)
  • Check, re-check and get a friend to check you spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Write short and concise sentences, enabling you to include every valid point, especially as you often only have a maximum of 30 second to impress an employer
  • Limit your CV to two sides of A4
  • Justify all your skills and claims with examples
  • Include 2 references who are trustworthy and suitable
  • Address your cover letter to a named individual by researching the recruiter
  • If a comment or sentence doesn't sell you or add to your profile, remove it
  • Maintain positive language throughout
  • Include both academic and non-academic awards and achievements
  • Include statistics to quantify your achievements (budget size, staff managed)
  • Don't simply list what you have done, but emphasise what you have to offer
  • Write employment history, education and personnel experiences in chronological order
  • Request feedback from recruiters if they do not select you for interview to establish potential points you can learn from.
  • Have and use a professional email that includes your name and your initials. (e.g. Daniel.w.smith@hotmail.co.uk)

What must NOT do

  • Never mention your date of birth or nationality or other irrelevant personnel data.
  • Never mention your salaries or income, or why you left your previous job
  • Rush your CV
  • Write less than a single page or more than two pages for your CV
  • Forget to send a cover letter
  • Use negative language or experiences
  • Lie or make false pretences
  • Write in reverse chronological order to hide employment or academic gaps
  • Put education first if you already have employment history.

Once you have completed your CV or if you already have a CV, upload it to The UK CV Library. This simple method has helped thousands of people find their ideal job.

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