How To Prepare Your CV For Maximum Success

How To Prepare Your CVYour CV should demonstrate to potential employer’s that you’re the best candidate for the job.

If you want to shine through the entire process, this is the most important part.

What Is A CV?

A CV or curriculum vitae is Latin for “course of life”. This is known in the United States and Canada as a resume. It’s the word for a summary in French.

How Long Should My CV Be?

Typically, CVs in the United Kingdom are no longer than a two-sided document. Many are longer if you’ve had extensive experience or education.

What Should Be Included?

This is your time to shine so you’ll want to include all relevant information that will ensure a potential employer gets a good snapshot of what you can and can’t do. It should give them enough information that they can determine whether or not to hire you.

Contact Information is a must. It should have your entire name, address, phone numbers (landline and mobile), email and any other information to contact you.

Education should come next. Include all of your appropriate education. Keep the most recent at the top of the page and be sure that you include any professional qualifications.

References are next. You’ll want at least two to three persons that can give a positive slant about your work ethic and experience. They may be previous employer’s, professional persons or personal friends but they should know you very well.

Skills are another important aspect of the CV. You should allow your specific skills to be showcased here especially those skills that are pertinent to the job at hand.

Work experience is next. Include volunteer positions, internships, previous work and anything else that would make you an ideal candidate for the job vacancy.

What Should I Avoid Including On My CV?

Leave the following information off of your CV:

  • The word resume or CV should be left off.
  • Leave your picture off of the CV unless you’re applying for an acting or modeling job position and it is required.
  • Keep in mind that you won’t include your personal information if you’re sending your CV online. Just include your email address so that no one is in possession of too much about you.

Should I Include A Profile?

No, not unless you want it to specifically stand out. Focus on what you’re applying for and tailor the CV to that position. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. About 200 words is plenty for a personal profile. Always remember that less is more.

Do I Put Education Or Previous Employment First?

There are many factors that determine this. If you’ve recently graduated and have minimal work experience, put the education first. Avoid generics such as hobbies such as watching movies, listening to music, reading etc.

How Do I Write A Stellar CV?

There are a variety of methods to do this. Build up a solid foundation and include the four main portions.

Grammar will count so triple check for grammatical errors. Use spell check twice and then have someone else look it over as well. Use active verbs such as “created”, “devised”, “analysed” and so on to show that you’re a person of great initiative.

Layout should also be considered. Keep your important skills at the top of the page and show off what you can do in this fashion. This will score higher with potential employer’s as they won’t have to seek it out.

jobThe presentation is vital. Keep it neat and tidy and avoid anything that is hard on the eyes. Use bold headings and bullet points to keep it easy to read. Consider 10 to 12 point fonts of Verdana or Lucida Sans. Avoid Comic Sans font.

Style comes next and should be very carefully chosen.  Consider your needs and the employer’s needs to see what style to select from.

Consider a professionally written CV or a free review of your CV to see if you can make it stand out more.

Never lie on your applications or your CV. If you’re caught, you can not only lose your job, there may also be other serious legal consequences from lying on your CV or your application. This is considered fraud and you can wind up in prison.

If there are any gaps, tell your potential employer why you had a gap in your employment. Perhaps you took some time off for a family need or to further your education, regardless, disclose this in the cover letter that you enclose with your CV.

Do I Really Need A Cover Letter?

Yes, you do. This allows you the opportunity to explain any gaps in employment, any issues that you need to explain and it gives you an opportunity to point out anything that you want to stand out in your CV itself.

Get Help With Your CV

If you’re a recent grad or a student, you can easily get help on your CV from the university itself. Just check in with the career and employment area of the university and ask for some help.

They will guide you through it every step of the way and can often provide a second set of eyes to review your CV and ensure that it’s done well and correctly showcasing your best qualities and talents. This will help you to stand out from the crowd.

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