CV writing, writing a good CV

What is in a good CV?

Today there are so many other ways to apply for jobs but despite the varying methods it is pretty much the same content, whether that is by email, application form, recruitment websites, or LinkedIn.  It is therefore very important to have an up-to-date and professional CV.  Here are some top tips for a good CV:

1.Professional Profile – written exclusively in the third person, the professional profile should capture all the information on your CV.  It needs to be carefully compiled, structured and well phrased.  It is important to not use stock phrases such as ‘excellent team player’ but to use appropriate words relating to your industry and to tailor this according to the role for which you are applying.

2.Career Summary – start with your most recent job first and then work backwards setting out employment dates, the employer and your job title. Your main responsibilities should be summarised below each role and remember to stay away from the word ‘I’ when describing your roles.

3.Education – this section may go before or after the Career Summary depending on how crucial this is to the jobs for which you are applying. If you are a graduate then it is most likely the most appropriate to set our your education first.

4.Additional Information – this is section is typically optional but it is very effective in providing a section for you to comment on the competency of your IT skills and what packages you use, if you have a driver’s licence, and any languages you may speak (and fluency). You can also include any other interests you may have something which recruiting managers may find interesting especially at a job interview.

5.Your Contact Details – name, address, telephone number and email address should be set out clearly at the top of your CV. Nowadays you are not required to put you date of birth or your marital status.

These are the primary components of any CV.  There are other things you may consider including such as the following:

  • Objective – this is usually placed under the professional profile sets out your intent to what you kind of role you are looking for and your career goals.
  • Key skills – this section may be placed under the Objective section. It is common to include this section if you have a highly technical profession or industry or particular expertise such as in IT, engineering, consultancy, sciences etc.
  • References – it is fine to mention ‘references available upon request’ but do not put the full details on your CV.  It takes up valuable space and your referees may be contacted unnecessarily, so by the tenth enquiry their enthusiasm may have diminished somewhat.

With regards to length, presentation, spelling and grammar, you need to be extra careful.  CVs should not be any longer than one to two pages . Too short you are simply not showcasing your skills and experience, and too long you are at risk of the reader losing interest. Make sure your CV is consistently presented throughout and make appropriate use of tables and white space.   Spelling and grammar mistakes need to be avoided so proof read your CV thoroughly.

I hope you find that helpful and good luck!

The CV Guru

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