How to create a knockout CV (Part One)

These days, not a lot of applications ask you to provide a CV, as the application itself usually covers all the bases e.g. your qualifications, work experience etc. However, this doesn’t mean that CVs are useless or completely redundant.

In fact, there will be times when your CV is what secures your interview and gets you through the door.

So how can you create the perfect CV? A CV that sells all your best features and gets your application brought to the top of the pile?

In this post, we aim to equip you with the stepping stones for creating a knockout CV that will leave a lasting, positive impression on potential employers.

What should your CV contain?

You’d be surprised by how many people don’t know what to include in their CV. As a result, they often supply too more information or don’t include the right stuff to secure themselves an interview.

So what should you include?

  1. First you should include your full name, address and contact details e.g. phone number and email. These are all vital pieces of information that regularly get missed off CVs but are needed if employers are to contact you.
  2. Next you should write a few short lines about yourself and your background (for your personal statement). Remember, this will be one of the first things they read so you really need to sell yourself and showcase all of your best qualities.
  3. Work experience – this should include your job title and a few sentences describing your responsibilities (whilst in the role). Obviously if you’ve had several jobs, you will need to tailor your CV. For this reason, make sure that you include the most relevant/applicable jobs that you have done which are best suited to the role you are applying for.
  4. Education – this should list your highest achievements/qualifications at the top before proceeding to your older qualifications.
  5. Following the education section you should list your key skills. For example any programs you can confidently use e.g. Microsoft Office or any additional languages you can speak.
  6. Hobbies – this is often overlooked when it shouldn’t be, as listing your hobbies can add personality to your CV and can make you more memorable. Similarly, your choice of hobbies can say a lot about your personality and potential work ethic.
  7. References – there is a bit of a divide on this point, as many will only state that they can provide references upon request – so don’t list anyone – whilst others will list a whole collection of potential referees.

    The difficulty stems from the rule that CV’s should be only 2 pages long. Personally, as long as your CV isn’t 10 pages, you are safe to list 2 people without overstretching your CV. After all, if you list employers who can verify your skills or ability to do the job (that you are applying for), then this can further enhance your application.

This guideline is the perfect stepping stone for getting you started, so if you are struggling to write your CV then why not use the above points to help?

Alternatively, you can wait for our next post, where we will go into greater depth on how to structure your CV and ensure every word your write makes the right impression.

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