The Personnel Selection Guide to…
The Curriculum Vitae
Putting together your CV is the first step towards securing your new position. The power and impact of this single document should not be underestimated, as it will frequently make the difference between you being invited along to your chosen company for an interview or being filed away with the other 50 forgettable CV’s!
There is no right or wrong way to structure your CV but no matter what your profession or what stage in your career you have reached, there are certain guidelines that every job seeker should adhere to;
First impressions count:
You have approximately two minutes to sell yourself on paper! Your CV must be well presented and ‘easy on the eye’- unless you’re an aspiring artist, don’t sacrifice readability for creativity! Proof read your CV for spelling and grammar, then ask an independent eye to re-check it. A single spelling mistake can have a dramatic effect on the impression that an eagle-eyed employer can form of you.
Keep it simple:
No busy employer has the time to read through paragraph upon paragraph of work history. Keep your CV as short as you can without cramming information or leaving it out! A college leaver may reasonably stick to one page but several years work experience can spill onto two, three or occasionally four pages, ideally CV’s should be no more than two pages. Be precise and concise; consider using bullet points rather than paragraphs and remember that many prospective employers will make judgements based on scan reading your CV. Key skills and achievements must be highlighted in order to grab attention.
Structure your CV:
Make sure you follow a logical well laid out structure in order to enable the reader to quickly grasp your background. Headings effectively guide readers through your CV and remember that reverse chronological order for your employment history is a must.
Paint the full picture:
Don’t leave prospective employers guessing! Date your employment and education history and never leave unexplained gaps in your CV. Whether you were travelling, studying or bringing up your family, be proud of transferable skills and record them!