CV / Resume Writing Tips
Before beginning the process of updating or writing your CV / Resume you must start thinking of it as a personal advert. Your CV / Resume will be the first, and possibly the last impression an employer gets of you and should effectively display the qualifications, experience, skills and qualities that show you to be the best person for the job.
An effective CV / Resume includes a targeted personal profile / objective, sections covering education / qualifications, key skills, professional memberships and full details of relevant previous employment. Write in a concise but descriptive style that is not just a series of bullet points.
When it comes to presentation ensure the CV / Resume looks professional but that key information stands out. Don’t try anything too radical with the fonts or colours and get the document proof read before sending.
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CV Writing Tips
Keep it short and concise
Before you start, choose the right structure for your CV / Resume. The most important information, such as your key skills / qualification and recent experience, needs to be near the top, where it can be seen straight away. Sections to include would be Personal Profile, Achievements, Special Skills (languages / computers), Education, Training, and Interests.
Your CV / Resume does not have to be just two pages. There are exceptions depending on length of employment history, etc. But remember if you haven’t caught the reader’s interest by page two then they probably won’t read any further pages anyway.
Clear, attractive presentation is important if your CV / Resume is to stand out. Ensure that the document is uncluttered with key points easy to spot. Use some bullet points and keep the sentences relatively short. Some ‘white space’ around the borders and between each section makes the information easier on the eye.
Ensure your employment history is in date order putting the most recent first. If you’ve had time out for some reason, do mention this. Do not go into too much detail concerning positions you held over 10 years ago unless of course it’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Include many facts / examples
On your CV / Resume don’t forget to list your achievements, responsibilities and results. Talk about results, what difference your presence make? For example, “Boosted sales by 20% in first year / saved the company millions by implementing a new scheme”, and always try to back it up with instances of how and when this was achieved.
Not just lists
Include specific skills, such as languages, administrative or computing skills, in a separate section on your CV / Resume. Then do not re-list them for every job you’ve used them in. This is particularly so for IT. Lists of tools and packages make dull reading.
Put yourself in to it
Remember the employer wants a sense of the kind of person you are, as well as your skills and experience. Are you punctual, conscientious, or motivated? Do you rise to a challenge? With each point on the CV /Resume you write, ask yourself “What does this say about me?”
Check before sending
Before sending your CV / Resume always check for errors. Run a spell and grammar check and ask someone else to proof read it for you. Any employer is not going to believe you’re a good communicator if what their reading is full of spelling and grammar mistakes.
Tailor your CV
You don’t have to use the same CV / Resume every time. You should have two or three versions, each adapted for the type of job you are applying for. It isn’t a case of one-size fits all, and each company will have their own criteria. Before applying review, the selection criteria or job advert and then adapt your CV / Resume to highlight what is most relevant.
Always send a covering letter or email with your CV / Resume. This should highlight the two or three areas of experience that are most relevant to the advertised job and allow you to explain your reasons for applying.
Although you want to present yourself well, don’t go too far embellishing the truth. No one likes a liar especially in the workplace, just remember to highlight anything, which is relevant to the job and let your CV / Resume do the rest.
We have reviewed, written and analysed thousands of CVs, Resumes and LinkedIn profiles for individuals at all levels.