We know how important it is to have the perfect CV, it is, after all, a potential employer's first introduction to you but how do you set about writing it? What information should you include and what should you take out? We at AllSouthamptonJobs want to help you in increasing your chances of getting that ideal so here are hints for making the right first impression.
We are sure you are all aware it's clear but a Curriculum Vitae (CV) should always be typed to give it the best clarity possible. It should also be well presented. Think about how it appears on the page. There should be apparent headings and breaks between paragraphs. A prospective employer will is likely to look through dozens of CVs for a job so they should be able to read the significant information immediately before short listing it for a additional thorough read through. A imperfectly laid out CV which is hard to read will probably end up in the rubbish.
The majority employers want a CV to start with a personal statement as it permits them to see straightaway what you are about. What should this include?
Ensure you give these questions considered thought before you come up with an answer as they should be expected to be questioned at interview. Here's an example of the type of thing might say:
' I am bright, a conscientious worker and passionate about any challenges I take on. My careerto date has all been extremely customerfocused and I find this to be very enjoyable. I have spent the last ten years in a sales environment and I enjoy the interaction with different types of people this brings. I feel I am intelligent and would like the opportunity to explore. During my time at Make Money Estate Agents particularly enjoyed learning as much as possible about the procedural and legal aspects of the conveyancing process and think that I learnt quickly. I am particularly keen to take on a challenging role with opportunities to progress and train where possible. I am also very IT proficient and thoroughly like using computers as part of my working life.'
The next heading should be your education if it is especially relevant to the job for which you are applying. For example, if you have a degree in Law and you are applying for a legal position then it is useful to state this first. However, if you believe your educational history is not particularly important and you are applying on the value of your experience then it is worth considering putting your work history first.
Your education should be noted in reverse order with the most recent education done at the top. It is not necessary to go into great detail here, just state where you studied and what grades you achieved. It is not vital to put the dates of study if you do not wish to as, under the Age Discrimination Act, you are not required to make any reference to your age and this includes dates from which your age may be obvious. Do not forget to include information of any additional certificates you might have received which may be relevant to the position.
Like education, it should be laid out in reverse order, the most recent or current employment at the beginning. You should give the name of the business and the period of time you worked for them (this does not necessarily have to be dates but you should indicate for how long you were employed in that position). It is also important to state where the employer was based, e.g. Southampton. You should also clearly state what your job title was. Underneath explain briefly what your job role was and your main tasks. This should help a perspective employer decide whether your experience makes you right for their vacancy. Try to be succinct and keep it to only relevant information.
It is not a good idea to put your salary for each employment undertaken on your CV as this can cause an employer to make assumptions about your suitability for a position and make negotiating your salary, where applicable, more difficult. Similarly the same could also be said for putting your salary expectation on your CV.
It is not uncommon for job seekers to put a little bit of personal information, such as hobbies, on their CV. It is advisable to keep this to a minimum. You should, however, state whether you hold a driving licence and what type of transport you have.
Employers do not necessarily want to see photos on a CV. For most vacancies it is unnecessary to include a photo but if you want to it ought to be passport photo sized and professional in appearance.
It is important that you make sure all spelling and punctuation are perfect. Literacy is often highly required to employers so use the 'Spell Check' option on your computer.
Ask a friend or contact to read through your CV. Ask them to confirm that it looks presentable and easy to read. They should also check your spelling and grammar.
When applying for a role you should include a covering letter. This should indicate why you are applying for this job in particular and a small amount about the experience and/or skills you have which could be significant to them (avoid repeating too much from the CV itself).
Remember that it is not necessarily 'one CV fits all', it's worth spending a few minutes checking your CV before each occasion you send it to make sure it makes the biggest impact for each particular position. You may want to think about changing some information, particularly your personal statement, to suit the job description.