The primary purpose of having a strong and effective C.V is to get you an interview or at least, some form of conversation with your audience.
It should only be a ‘snap shot’ of your strengths, skills, experience, knowledge, qualifications and qualities.
This is your written advertisement demonstrating what you have to offer. Save the detail for the interview.
‘Curriculum Vitae’ roughly translates to “The Course of my Life”. However, employers are no longer interested in C.V’s which list all your duties and responsibilities throughout your career.
It shouldn’t be a list of everything you have ever done. They want to see recent evidence of what you offer and what value you can bring to their organisation or company.
Research shows us Recruiters and Hiring Mangers only spend between 6 – 30 seconds on a C.V before they decide if you have what they want! Therefore, your C.V needs to grab their attention with all the right information they are looking for and FAST!
TOP TIPS FOR WRITING AN EFFECTIVE C.V.
- Don’t have the words ‘Curriculum Vitae’ at the top of your C.V. This is very outdated and you’re wasting space just stating the obvious.
- Remove all personal information. None of this information has any bearing on how well you do your job and could cause your audience to discriminate against you:
- Your age / date of birth
- Marital status
- Number of dependents
- Names or ages of your children
- Reasons for leaving your last job
- Salary information etc.
- Be careful about uploading your C.V to generic job sites with your full name, address, home and mobile telephone numbers and personal information. Once this information is online you can never get it back and you are increasing your risk of identity theft!
- Always start with a strong ‘Personal Profile’, This should be just one paragraph outlining your qualities, skills, what you do, your background and what you’re best at. This helps draw your audience to the rest of your C.V where you can back everything up.
- Avoid writing in the first person as every sentence will start with “I am” and “I have” and “I did”. Write about yourself using Action Verbs such a ‘managed’, ‘organised’ and ‘created’ to create energy and impact throughout your C.V.
- Highlight up to 5 ‘Key Skills or qualifications’ you know your audience will be looking for. Highlight what you offer quickly.
- Make sure you get through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) by matching key words and language,
- Always use bullet points and a sensible font such as Ariel 11.
- Avoid lots of bold and don’t use ‘underline’, columns or hidden tables as this doesn’t allow the document to flow well and can cause formatting issues.
- Just keep it simple!
- Only summary the last 10 or 12 years of your career, anything old is out of date or less relevant now.
- Don’t include old or irrelevant qualifications or dates of when you went to school as these can easily be an indication of age and open to discrimination
- Qualify and quantify your content using facts and figures where possible. Achievement statements are far better than lengthy stories.
- Include voluntary, community based activities and leisure interests to give your audience a better understanding of who you are what you’re like outside of work.
- Keep it to a maximum of 2 pages. If an employer is interested and wants to read more, they’ll call you for an interview.
- Finally, get someone to check your grammar and spelling – no matter how good you are, if you make mistakes you could lose out
I offer an initial Career Review Service for just £15. So, if you would like me to review your CV and give you a written report on how effective your C.V just get in touch! If you go on to work with me you can redeem the cost off your first session!