Composing a great CV

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression” and for most of us, our CV is the first point of contact with any prospective employer and it’s essential you get it right.

Firstly you’ll need to find a suitable template; there are many different versions available on the internet to download. The most important requirement with any template is that it has an attractive layout which is easy to read. Unless you are applying for a creative role, such as a graphic designer, steer clear of templates that are over designed, this can act as a distraction.

There is no hard and fast rule as to the best running order of your CV, but in general it should read as follows:

Personal details

Career Objective / Personal Profile

Education and qualifications

Employment history / experience

Interests and activities

Referees

 

Here are some of the essential elements that will help you compose a great CV.

  1. Make sure your name address and contact details are very clear at the top of the page. Also include your LinkedIn profile as a hyperlink in this area for CV’s that you submit via email.
  2. Try to keep your CV to a length of two pages. This can be difficult, but proves to be an excellent exercise in keeping to the point, which leads on to…..
  3. Where appropriate include hyperlinks to previous employers websites, to online portfolios of you work (Such as dropbox) this creates instant interest and interactivity
  4. Use clear, concise business-like language and never use two words if one will do!
  5. Spelling or grammar errors are sure to put your CV to the back of the pile, don’t just rely on spell-check, there are common spelling errors that your spell check might not pick up on, such as “there” or “their”
  6. Bullet points are often better than long meandering sentences, generally the first person to read your CV has lots to read through, they’ll appreciate this format
  7. Remember to list your most recent work experience first, with your earliest job last
  8. As much as possible, use positive and enthusiastic language, this will help to keep the readers attention engaged

Follow these guidelines and your CV will be a pleasure for any prospective employer to read.