Writing a CV from scratch can be a daunting task but by using our tips and headings you will be giving a fantastic first impression to any prospective employer! When reading a CV most people form an opinion on the application within the first six seconds. Using the correct format, as outlined here, ensures that the opinion formed on your CV will be a good one!
- Word format is compatible with most computers and applicant management systems so use this as opposed to PDF format.
- Make sure to include your contact details at the top of the first page on the left. Include an address, contact number, and email.
- Ensure that there is suitable space between the different sections so your CV doesn’t look too cluttered and is easy to read.
- Use bullet points to explain your experience and not full sentences to make it easy to navigate through your experience, qualifications, and skillset.
- Don’t add graphics or images to your CV. A text-only format makes it easy to read and adding anything else can make it look cluttered.
- CV’s should not be any longer than three pages. Any longer than this and an employer will lose interest.
- This is a brief 2 or 3 sentence introduction outlining your suitability for both the job and the organisation you are applying to.
- Use this section to highlight your most relevant skills for the job you are applying for. For example, for an IT Engineer with SAP experience you would say:
- ‘Motivated and experienced IT professional with particular expertise in the SAP area.’
Education and employment details:
- List all professional and educational history in reverse order. You would, therefore, start with your most recent job or qualification in each section.
- If you are currently studying towards a qualification make sure to include it. Give your expected time of completion and expected result.
- Your 2 most recent jobs will be of most interest to prospective employers so make sure you go into plenty of detail and list them first.
- Make sure to detail any strong IT skills you may have. Eg: Experience with Microsoft Office Suite.
- If there is a gap in your experience make sure you explain it so the employer doesn’t draw their own conclusions!
- Your bullet points under each job should explain a combination of your responsibilities and achievements.
- Use verbs at the start of each bullet point such as ‘managed‘ and ‘negotiated’.
Hobbies and interests section:
- Hobbies and interest should be the last thing on your CV. Keep it short and be careful of what you list. Avoid mentioning interests like ‘socialising’ and replace with, for example, a team sport you might be interested in.
- Spell check your CV – accuracy, and attention to detail are highly important for any position. Spell check will not detect every mistake (mistakes such as typos will not be recognised) so read through it thoroughly even after running the check.
- Does your CV clearly match the skills outlined in the advert under the ‘experience required’ section? Your CV is the first impression the employer will get of you – make sure it is a good one by taking the time to tailor it for every job application.