Designing your CV
You CV is a reflection of your personality , your past achievements and your academic achievements . Its a one time job to design a good CV and it is certainly worth investing time and effort to design a good CV which you could develop and build on in the years to come . A good CV can be the passport that gets you the interviews , leading to the super jobs and a great career. With your CV being one of many, employers will only read it for a short space of time, so it is extremely important that it is structured clearly, with your best selling points presented in a logical manner and the most relevant information readily identifiable.
Everybody writes and presents their CV as they like, there is no right or wrong way. However, with these words of advice we will help you produce a clear and concise CV that will increase your chances of being invited for an interview.
Good CV’s are logical, clear, concise and simple with sentences including short, to the point key words and statements. It is best to leave out words, such as, ‘and’ and ‘I’ as much as you can and make each sentence as meaningful as possible. An effective CV needs to focus the readers’ attention on the criteria that they are looking for, highlighting important information that can be accessed and interpreted easily. Try to match yourself with the criteria they are looking for.
You may also be asked to justify and elaborate certain statements that you have made in your CV if you are invited to an interview, so you should be honest and accurate all the way through. Be careful not to over-exaggerate, however, always remain positive! Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar are vital, as well as the overall layout and format of the CV.
Structure & Presentation
First impressions are very important! Each section needs to be headed clearly so that it is well presented, orderly and pleasing to look at, to avoid any discouragement to read on. Your skills, experience and achievements must flow in a logical manner detailing all key points. Any dates should be included where applicable and placed in reverse chronological order i.e. latest job first, working backwards to your first job. TWO OR THREE pages is the standard length of a good CV. DO NOT let your CV run any longer than an absolute maximum of 4 pages. CV’s over 4 pages are almost always viewed as wasteful and instantly discarded.
Once a layout and structure is decided on, you should stick to it using consistent headings and sub-headings as well as a STANDARD FONT SIZE AND TYPE. In general, Verdanna or Arial (or a modern type face) and size 9/10 is the norm but the use of bold or different size fonts can highlight important information and point the reader to the relevant areas! All text should be fully justified so the paragraphs look neat and tidy and there should be a balance between text and space. Bullet points are useful to break up text; black lines can be used to emphasize headings.
Personal Details Need To Include
Name, Date of Birth, Your Address, Home telephone, Mobile telephone, Email address, Nationality. Married or single (you do not need weight, height, religion, inside leg measurement etc)
Qualification and Educational Background :
Please end the qualification degree obtained , the name of the University and the Year of graduation . If you have obtained any special credits , or high academic achievements please make a mention of this.
Professional Qualifications & Courses
This should include any RECENT & RELEVANT courses or qualifications you have taken.
Start with the most recent and current job . Write a brief description of what the company does (do not assume that people are aware of the company you are working for) and include a link to their website. Below this mention briefly the position held, responsibilities , your key achievements and success stories . Ensure you mention the dates your worked at this company ( Month / Year should do ) .
You could be asked questions at the time of interview of the key targets achieved , the reporting , the challenges of the job , please prepare the key points for each job held . You may also be asked about the reasons for the various job changes . The reasons need to be logical and clear .
This section on hobbies and interests should be kept short and include information, such as, membership of and positions of responsibility in sports teams, drama societies etc. Any information should have a purpose, showing skills relevant to the role you are applying for and saying something of interest about you.
Unless requested, references need not be given at the initial application stage and a simple “references available on request” should suffice. Employers will ask for references if and when they need them.