How to create a knockout CV (part two)

In our previous post we gave you a guideline on how to structure your CV for maximum impact. This week, we want to get into the nitty-gritty of writing your CV and ensuring that it accurately showcases all of your capabilities.

Writing Tips

You may not realise it when you are writing, but it is easy to slip into language that is less than positive. That is why, it is essential that when writing your CV: you use positive language throughout and come across to prospective employers as confident. This proves that not only are you a professional, but that everything you say should be taken seriously.

As well as using positive language, it is important that you also thoroughly check your spelling and grammar. Even the smallest mistakes could hinder your CV and cause your application to fall to the bottom of the pile. After all, if you can’t be bothered to check your CV – how good will your work ethic be?

More importantly, you need to achieve the right balance in regards to how much you write. For instance, you should only include relevant information that will help you to get an interview; not paragraph upon paragraph of information that is not that beneficial to your application.

Remember – you don’t want them to get bored. NO. Your mission is to entice and secure that elusive interview.

Personal Statement

These often get overlooked when in reality they should always be provided alongside your CV.

Now this doesn’t have to be an essay, but at the same time it is your chance to shine.

Tips:

  • Your personal statement should only be a short paragraph – found at the top of your CV – that is used to summarise your work history. NOTE: try to keep to approximately 100 words.
  • It should be relevant to the job you are applying for, so you will need to edit it/tailor it to suit each individual application.
  • Use it to explain your skills, experience and knowledge – in relation to the job you are applying for.
  • Make sure you talk about your character/personality so you can showcase your attributes and how you can benefit the workplace.
  • Write something that will help to set you apart from the competition e.g. if you have got a degree in a particular subject or have won an award for your work.
  • Talk about your work history and key points of the job that you have undertaken.
  • When discussing skills, remember to mention things such as being a team player or having good time management skills.

Structure

It can be hard controlling how much you write, and more often than not you could write loads on one section and little on another.

This is why it is important to structure your CV and keep to the layout.

  1. Break up your text so it is easy to read. A good way to do this is to use bullet points, so you can make your points clear and easy to spot.
  2. Don’t write long paragraphs – write only a few sentences to show why you should be picked.
  3. When discussing your work history use a simple list format and list it using a preceding order so that they can see your most current work experience first, before progressing to older employers.
  4. Keep your CV fluid. You don’t want it to stilted, over packed or be seen as dull.

How to end your CV

By now you are well versed on how to write and structure your CV, but what about the ending? Should you add a conclusion or not? It is important to remember here that your CV is not as essay, and as such adding a conclusion is not always necessary.

Most people prefer to end it by mentioning their hobbies and interest. And this is a great tactic, as it will give prospective employers an insight into who you are, your personal life and a potential topic they can discuss with you during the interview (to see how passionate you are).

Another ending a lot of people use is to mention how references can be made available upon request. This too is a good ending as it encourages them to get in contact with you about who your references are.

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