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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

CV Writing Hints & Tips In A Nutshell


#CV tips in a nutshell. I have been interviewing for a graduate programme last week and again this week. This led me to thinking about both CV writing and interviewing hints & tips. 

In this post we are going to explore CV writing hints & tips in a nutshell. More on interview hints & tips in later posts.  

CV Writing Hints & Tips In A Nutshell
CV writing tips - the absolute basics:
  • Keep it brief - no more than 2 pages, 3 at an absolute push. The only exception are executive level CVs.
  • If you are using a chronological format make sure you list your most recent job first, going back in time.
  • Use the correct grammar and spell check. A good tip is to get someone to proof read the CV for you. Under no circumstances include any text speak such as lol or :)
  • Watch the layout - don't make it too detailed, don't squash the content in an attempt to fit it on 2 pages. You may need to prioritise the content or group/discard older employment history
  • Font size - no smaller than 10, ideally 11 or 12. Use a professional font such as Arial or Times New Roman rather than some of the more artistic fonts.
  • Don't lie - you will only be found out. I loved this post "Is Your CV A Work of Fiction" from@AfterRedundancy, which made me smile.
  • Make sure the CV is relevant to the role you are applying for. Look at the job description and the skills the employer is seeking and make sure you have these skills reflected in your CV.
  • If you are applying for similar type roles it is fine to have a generic CV which you tweak slightly for each role. If you are applying for different types of roles or to different industry sectors then you will need to submit a different CV each time. All of this takes a lot of time and effort but it is the only way to gain invites to interview. Without this step your CV will not pass the screening stage.
  • Consider how you use key words in your CV so that it can be screened easily or uploaded onto job sites.
  • If you have employment gaps, include achievements or any voluntary work. Be prepared to discuss what you were doing during any employment breaks (tip: try and focus on any new skills acquired).
  • Make sure you know your CV inside out prior to interview - you are only going to be asked questions on it! Make sure you have pre-prepared examples ready to back up your skills.
Good luck with the CV writing.