Nailing your CV is very important for getting the invite to an interview, so use this advice to enhance your job search!
Time and time again I read mediocre CVs, which are swiftly followed by a phone-call with the individual where I find out there is so much more to them than what I’ve read! This is great but it makes me ask the question – why didn’t they put any of it in their CV?!
Your CV is the initial chance to grab the attention of the employer / recruiter and the way you’re going to get an invitation to interview for the potential job of your dreams.
It’s competitive out there, so why not give yourself the best opportunity to get that interview? Take the time to make your curriculum vitae the best it can be!
There’s almost a recipe which you can follow, with key ingredients to making a great CV. We’ve tried to make it simple for you, but remember everyone is different so make it applicable to your job and the experience you bring with you (and the job you’re applying for).
By following the format / style we have in the example below (with some of the subtle secret rules we use to make every CV better) you’ll start to have a good looking CV for yourself! Have a read and then create your own…
Back to Basics – Rules to follow when creating a CV
- Only use bold and italics to highlight – do not underline as well
- Spacing is critical to emphasize different sections, you want it to flow and focus on career progression, listing the most recent first
- A subtle increase or decrease of font size can subconsciously bring the reader’s eye to a particular section
- Achievements are very important – we all know what everyone does in their job (certainly if we’re hiring that job, we hope the reader knows what similar jobs will entail), but what we don’t know is how well you did in that job. Listing achievements gives you the opportunity to brag a little, presenting the decision maker with the impression you’ve done well in that role!
- We tend to write CV’s in the 3rd person. As an agency this is common place, but it’s also common for job seekers to do this for themselves too. It’s a subtle distinction in the psychology of reading a statement “John did this, John did that” as opposed to “I did this, I did that”. It encourages the reader to take this statement as fact, rather than arrogance or bragging.
Again, the above is only a snapshot of some of the subtle enhancements we expect from an exceptional CV – a CV which sets itself apart from the pack. This is where you want to get yours too.
I encourage you to make sure your CV is not one which you have just added to over the years, which has evolved and grown to 3+ pages. It should never be more than 2 pages (although there are some exceptions).
Don’t try and be clever with an infographic style CV, it is becoming trendy but in my experience I’ve only seen 2 “perfect ones”; better to have a fantastic traditional one unless you are seeking career progression in graphic design or a highly creative role.
You’ll want to edit your earlier experience down, giving extra space and detail to more recent achievements. Think about budget, clients, targets, what other details can you tell an employer? There is a real difference between someone who worked with a £10 budget as opposed to a one that was £100k. Or someone who can write clean code as opposed to someone with basic HTML capability.
If you’ve got a Google AdWords’ certification, why not say it on your CV? If you’ve got a 1st in your Degree, why not say this in your personal profile introducing yourself – it might be from 10 years ago but it does show what level of education you have achieved!
The example below should give you a good idea of how to layout a CV. My advice is take your time to make it right.
Do not waste an opportunity to introduce yourself to an employer with a cr@ppy CV. If it doesn’t do you justice, then don’t send it… An employer will make a quick judgement on you, and if your CV isn’t informative and engaging then they could think this is generally how you present yourself, maybe this is how you are at work.
Use this template for writing a CV and make it the best it can be!
Take the time to create something you can be proud of. Use this to help get yourself the interview which can launch your career or get you that dream job. Once you’ve got the invite to interview, make sure you read our blog on what to do and what not to do at interview! Then you’re set.