J2W CV Top Tips
CV Top Tips
A CV is not just a document which is talking about you. A CV is telling a potential employer why they should be interested in you. Think about it from their perspective and include information that will help them see you as a valued member of staff.
- Contact and Personal Details. Make sure your personal contact details are clear, accurate and complete. If possible, try to have an e-mail address that sounds business like. You do not need to include your date of birth, gender or marital status.
- Personal Statement. Include a paragraph at the start that briefly tells an employer who you are, what you can do and why they should read on. Think about what they might want to read (rather than what you are burning to tell them.)
- Layout. Make sure that your CV
- looks tidy
- has consistent formatting
- is not overly crowded
- is no more than two pages long
- is grammatically correct
- has no spelling mistakes
- Fonts. Choose your font carefully. Never use a “fun” or swirly font, block capitals or underlining. These are difficult to read by anyone, and particularly people with dyslexia or screen-reading software. Use a larger font, bold or even colour to give emphasis to section titles.
- Work History. List your work history, starting with the most recent and working backwards. Start with the name of the company, your job title and dates that you worked there. Then explain what you did, what achievements you accomplished, any special projects that you completed and what skills you used and developed. Give the most information about the most recent and/or most relevant experience. Think about what a potential employer would be interested in.
- Gaps in Work History. Briefly explain gaps in your employment history. Include information about what you were doing with your time, any voluntary work, self-development etc. If you were trying to set up a business venture which didn’t work out, still include this; it’s all good experience.
(If you were in prison, you do not need to disclose this on your CV. For further help on how to manage your disclosure contact Nacro, a social justice charity set up to support offenders. Their helpline is firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Education and Qualifications. Outline your education and relevant qualifications, along with dates and awarding bodies/educational establishments.
- Hobbies. Include any relevant hobbies, particularly if you can include achievements and experience that show you have other interesting skills and aptitudes. For instance, an employer may not be interested that you play a particular sport, but they may be extremely interested that you are the treasurer for your local team.
- Adapt for Each Job. Adapt your CV and covering letter for each job you apply for:
- Think about what the employer is looking for
- Pick out some key words from the job advert and include them in your personal statement or covering letter.
- Demonstrate that you meet the requirements of the job
- Never Ever Lie on a CV. You might be tempted to embellish your experience, or even lie about qualifications, dates of employment etc. Never do this; if you get the job and the new employer finds out, it would be grounds for immediate dismissal. Leave things out rather than lie.