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Writing a CV can be a stressful task. Essentially it is your way to sell yourself on paper, so you need to put yourself in the mind-set that you are writing copy for an advert and you need to sell that product! Of course you need to mention your past experience and education, but you may be missing some of the most important pieces to your curriculum vitae.
Let’s start with the basics…
1. Contact Details
It may sound strange to even mention this, but we’ve seen countless CVs that are missing contact details. It is essential to include all your details so the recruiter can get in touch with you. If they are missing a mobile number or email address, it can prove very difficult to get in contact to arrange interviews.
It is also important to mention where you are currently residing – that way a recruiter can review whether a job is suitable for you and whether you can easily commute to a role.
Having a voicemail messaging service set up on your telephone is integral. It is understandable that candidates are not always contactable, however if a recruiter can leave a voicemail you will be able to gather the information you require from this. You can then respond to the recruiter accordingly.
2. Short and Sweet
You will need to make your CV short and sweet, as having pages and pages on your CV can get tedious for a recruiter to read. Make your CV clear, snappy and easy to read. A personal statement should be no more than a few sentences and should mention your attributes and skills.
Following your personal statement, you should go on to write about your experience. It is tempting to write paragraphs about how you did everything in your previous role, but you should cut these down to concise bullet points. Using bullet points in your CV makes it simple to read and makes the information easier to digest. Ensure that your layout follows suit – if you are using bullet points when writing about your current role, you will then need to use bullet points throughout.
It’s important to provide dates of employment with each role as well. This is so that the recruiter can get an understanding of your previous experience and employment records. It is also a good idea to quantify your role responsibilities – for example, if you have been a personal assistant to five members of staff, ensure that you mention this rather than just saying you were a personal assistant, or if you were an accountant for fifty clients, mention this, as it shows how large a work load you can deal with.
3. Additional Training
If you have had additional training in any way, make the most of this. If your training has given you a new skill, which is relevant to the role you are applying for, get it on your CV! If you are looking to apply for an office manager role and you are trained in First Aid, ensure you mention this on your CV. If you are applying for a field sales role, ensure you mention your full driving license.
Additional training displays the will to learn and further your skill set. If you can speak a foreign language, this can definitely help you in your search; many international companies are in need of fluent foreign language speakers and showing that you have this skill could set you apart from other candidates.
Computer skills are of high importance in modern day business, so it’s important to mention if you are fluent in Microsoft Office. Diary management is also a key skill which is transferable across different companies and can be extremely beneficial when looking for a new role.
4. Your personality
Be sure to show your personality within your CV. This can be difficult as you are keeping to a two-page maximum limit, but by laying out your CV appropriately and carefully using wording and language, you can display your personality to your recruiter.
Ooze positivity, write about what you enjoy and what your strengths are. If you have any weaknesses, turn these around to be opportunities for growth in skills.
When it comes to your interests, keep this short, but make sure what is mentioned is relevant to the role. For example, if cooking is an interest of yours, it shows that you are organised and good at time keeping, where if you mention that you enjoy exploring different cultures, it shows that you are open minded and keen to learn.
5. Spelling and grammar
Proofread your CV! This can be forgotten about and bad spelling and grammar can let you down when applying for a job. It is understandable that when you have worked hard on something, you may not pick up on a mistake after you have looked over it time and time again. Ask a close friend or family member to have a good look over your CV just to ensure that spelling and grammar is on point.
Attention to detail is hugely important when writing your CV – this displays accuracy! A recruiter will be put off if they see spelling mistakes within your resume and could mean you lose out on your perfect role. When you are finished writing your CV go through it with a fine-tooth comb and pick out any errors you may have looked past previously.
To find out more about CV writing, check out our advice here, here and here.