A good CV is essential to finding a job, but what makes a CV good?
There are lot of guides out there to look at and CV templates you can adopt.
Our aim is to give practical and helpful advice on your CV content that will help you to secure your dream job. Advice based on our years of experience scanning CVs for candidate gold.
You want your CV to stand out but not for the wrong reasons. Follow the rules so there are no suprises to the reader, but infuse your CV with personality that makes it stand out for the right reasons.
How long should my CV be?
The golden rule is that your CV should be no longer than two pages. Two A4 pages. If you’ve got extensive experience then tailor your CV to the job/industry/profession that you’re applying for. If you haven’t got years and years of experience there is nothing wrong with a one page CV. Don’t “pad” it out, you really want all the information on there to be strong and support your suitability for the role.
The 30 second rule
Start at the beginning and give yourself 30 seconds to read your CV. This is about as long as someone scanning CVs will give it. What have you learned? What stands out? What makes you unique? All it takes is one thing to peak their insterest to give yourself a fighting chance of getting a call. Ideally, you should ask a friend who will be honest with you to do the same.
Tell us about yourself
Do you have a mission statement or personal profile at the beginning of your CV? If you don’t, you need to write one. This should be no more than a couple of lines and should be a summary of your skills and brief information about what you are looking for. It doesn’t have to be really specific but think of this information as your ‘movie tag line’. It should sum up your CV and makes people want to find out more.
Two rules of structure
The structure of your CV depends on your experience. If you’re a recent graduate or have less than three years of working experience, education should come first. Three years or more of experience and this valuabe experience should come first.
Bullet points are your friend.
don’t write paragraphs about what you did at each job. Use up to five bullet points which should be a mixture of responsibilities and achievements.
What are your skills?
Are you proficient with MS Office? Do you know what CRM is? Make sure you list them.
What do you do in your spare time?
Interests and hobbies: please include this section, but make sure it’s no longer than a couple of lines long.
Keep it clean
When it comes to format and style, the golden rules are keep it simple and clean. There’s no need for fancy fonts, interesting colours and design elements. It should be really easy to read.
Save some space
You don’t need to supply your full address (town and city or region will do). No photograph needed. You don’t need to write your date of birth or gender.
Sounds really simple but make sure there’s a phone number and an email address on there.
Take another look at that CV and see how you can elevate and simplify it.