We all know how imperative it is to have the perfect CV, it is, after all, a potential employer's first meeting of you but how do you set about writing it? What information should you include and what should you take out? We at AllPortsmouthJobs want to assist you in increasing your chances of getting that excellent so here are hints for making the right first impression.
We are sure you all know it's obvious but a Curriculum Vitae (CV) should always be typed to give it the best clarity possible. It should also be excellently presented. Consider how it appears on the page. There should be apparent headings and breaks between sections. A prospective employer will is likely to look through lots of CVs for a job so they should be able to read the pertinent information immediately before short listing it for a additional thorough read through. A poorly laid out CV which is hard to read will probably end up in the bin.
Many employers like a CV to begin with a personal statement as it allows them to see straightaway what you are about. What should this include?
Make sure you give these questions considered thought before you come up with an answer as they probable to be questioned at interview. Here's an example of the type of thing might want to say say:
' I am bright, hardworking and serious about any challenges I take on. My careerto date has all been extremely customerorientated and I have found this to be very enjoyable. I have spent the last four years in a sales environment and I enjoy the contact with different sorts of people this brings. I feel I am intelligent and would like the chance to use. During my time at H J Estate Agents especially enjoyed learning lots about the procedural and legal parts of the conveyancing process and felt that I took to it quickly. I am particularly keen to take on a challenging position with the chance to advance and train where possible. I am also extremely IT literate and thoroughly enjoy using computers as part of my working life.'
The next heading should be your education if it is especially relevant to the job to which you are applying. For example, if you have a degree in Finance and you are applying for a finance position then it is useful to state this first. However, if you feel your educational history is not especially relevant and you are applying on the value of your experience then it is worth considering putting your work history first.
Your education should be displayed in reverse order with the most recent education undertaken first. It is not necessary to go into lots detail here, simply state where you studied and what grades you were awarded. It is not necessary to put the dates of study if you do not want to as, under the Age Discrimination Act, you are not obliged to make any reference to your age and this includes dates from which your age may be determined. Do not forget to include information of any extra certificates you might have achieved which may be important to the position.
Like education, it is important that this is laid out in reverse order, the most recent or current employment at the top. You should give the name of the company and the period of time you worked for them (this does not have to be dates but you should indicate for how long you were employed in that position). It is also useful to state where the employer was based, e.g. Portsmouth. You should also clearly state what your job title was. Under this explain succinctly what your job role was and your main tasks. This should help a potential employer decide whether your experience makes you suitable 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 make an employer to make assumptions about your suitability for a role 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. We would recommend keep this to a minimum. You should, however, state whether you have 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 not necessary to include a photo but if you would like to it should be passport photo sized and professional looking.
It is essential that you ensure all spelling and punctuation are right. 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 check it looks presentable and easy to read. You should also ask them to check your spelling and grammar.
When applying for a role try to incorporate a covering letter. This should say 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).
Don't forget that it is not necessarily 'one CV fits all', it is worth spending a few moments reviewing your CV before each occasion you submit it to check it makes the best impact for each particular opening. You may want to think about changing some information, particularly your personal statement, to suit the job description.