As a recruiter we see hundreds of CVs each day. The ones which stand out the most are those which are clear and well organised.
A simple font (Calibri or Arial) and layout does the job and mean that those all-important skills and experience stand out for themselves.
We want all the people we work with to be successful, so have put together some best practice guidelines for CV writing.
Knowing where to start can be quite daunting, but writing a CV is actually very simple. There are many templates out there and whilst we don’t recommend them, some can be helpful in getting you started. These are not by any means the only way to approach writing your CV and creating a document using Word is by far the most straightforward method.
Name and current address: You should use your full name and if you are known by another name this should also be included on your CV. Too often, we see candidates with no address. This is important as it helps us to find you roles in your current location. If you are looking to relocate this should be made clear in a covering letter or in brackets after your address.
Phone Numbers: Please include all phone numbers other than your work number and check that these are correct before sending as this will be the primary way of contacting you.
Email: Again please check that this is correct so that job descriptions and interview details can be sent to you.
Qualifications: These should start with your most recent qualification. Include the date you were awarded this and the level you were awarded.
Experience: This should be presented clearly starting with your current/most recent role. The ideal format is date, company, role and then bullet pointed duties underneath. You should include all IT packages you have used and include all main duties.
Personal statement: This can give an employer a feel for your general background and aspirations. It is not essential, but if you have a particular skill, or industry experience which you wish to continue pursuing then this is a good place to highlight it.
Driving, interests, references: This is personal preference, although these are now generally considered unnecessary as they are not ‘selection criteria’ and the main purpose of a CV is to show that you can do a given job.
Pictures, photographs, fonts: Although most agencies will change a CV to their standard format, it is important that yours represents who you are. What you look like will not be a consideration at interview, past being dressed appropriately, this cannot be used as selection criteria and therefore does not need to be on a CV. With this in mind, pictures, colours, photographs and fancy fonts are superfluous and do not add value to your experience. Obviously, there are some creative sectors to which this will not apply.
Reasons for leaving: If these are straight forward and do not require lots of explanation, they can be a good addition to a CV and should be placed under each individual job. Otherwise it is better to leave to the interview to discuss these.
Remember:Your CV is your first introduction to an organisation so needs to work in your favour. Present yourself well at this stage and you are much more likely to gain an interview. If you would like free advice on your current CV please contact us and we will be happy to help.
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