CV Advice

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The CV is usually the first oppurtunity an employer will have to find about you and your skillset and what you have to offer. You must use it to SELL yourself.

General Guidance.

Length. Two to three pages maximum. Anything longer will not be read.

Layout. The layout should be easy on the eye. Do not use exceptionally small fonts to cram more information in. Leave space around the text, this has the effect of drawing the reader in.

Format. The following sections are logical sequences of information. The detail should start with the present. Try to keep all the information objective, concise and to the point using short sentences.

Talk positively about your achievements using 'I' not 'we'.

1. Personal Satement - Your CV should begin with your name and then a short personal statement setting out your key skills and attributes. More and more employers are selecting on the basis of the skills and attributes that are necessary in order to be effective in the role. Irrespective of the length or breadth of experience, can the person ‘do the job’?

Your personal statement should be an affirmation of you as a professional. It will be the first thing the employer will read. Use words like ‘I’ and be positive. For example, “I am an effective team-player” sounds more positive and confident than “I like working as a member of a team”.

2. Your current job - This should be in a separate section on its own rather than included in your ‘Employment History’ section.

Your current or most recent experience will usually be the most relevant to the employer.

They will, of course, want to know key facts such as your current employer, job title, salary, the date you took up the position and your notice period.

They will also want to know what your duties and responsibilities are, or were. You should not assume that the job title says it all. Words like ‘coordinator’, ‘manager’ or ‘director’ are used in many different contexts and can mean very different things.

You should set out your key personal achievements in the role. What have you personally done? Include things like:

* income targets
* amounts raised
* budgets managed
* staff managed
* policies developed
* changes implemented.

Simply setting out the scope of the role will not highlight your personal contribution. What value have you added? How have you made a difference?

3. Employment history - Begin with the most recent and work backwards.

Do not provide substantial detail about jobs that are not relevant to the role, or roles, you are now applying for. The employer is not likely to be interested in temporary or casual jobs you have held a long time ago.

Your employment history should demonstrate consistency and progression. If you have held a number of different positions in different organisations and different sectors, it may be useful to include the reasons why you made these career choices.

Include the key facts, summarise the key responsibilities and your personal achievements.

4. Professional qualifications, professional memberships, training - These will be of more interest to an employer in the first instance - more so than academic qualifications.

Include any other relevant professional training that you have completed.

5. Other skills - This section allows you to expand in a little more detail on other skills you may have, for example, IT. Set out the hardware and software programmes you are familiar with.

It can be useful to state whether you are an advanced user of particular software programmes or are commonly used in the sector, for example, database software.

If you have a driving licence or languages, include it here.

6. Academic qualifications - Keep this section as short as possible. If you have a degree or any postgraduate qualifications, simply state the subject, the awarding institution and the date. Providing the grade is optional.

There is no need to include the full address of the institution. It simply takes up space.

The details of academic qualifications gained prior to degree level study should only be included if you think that they are relevant. For example, it can be assumed that you had the necessary qualifications in order to gain a degree. If you want to include these qualifications, name the institution, location and date.

7. Personal interests - Think carefully about what your personal interests say about you before writing a list of things you like doing. If they do not add to the ‘picture’ of you, why include them?

8. Your contact details - including email addresses and mobile phone.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Do not ever falsify information, or give any misleading information to an employer under any circumstances whatever.

It's illegal, it's self destructive, and it's just plain stupid.

Don't even think about it.

You can say goodbye to any job like that. It's certain death.

Don't put yourself in a position where your statements can't be trusted. Only give verifiable information, and do not exaggerate.

In some cases you may be going for a promotion or a position which is above your previous levels of experience. In these cases, your prior work record, and your hard facts, are far more important.

Remember that you're competing with other people. Quality of information is what really matters on any CV.

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Rugby, CV21 3AE
Tel: 01788 298040   Fax: 01788 221529