CV Writing – Top 10 Tips

There is a huge amount of advice available on how to write the perfect CV. Much of this information is conflicting and can be confusing. However, some aspects of CV writing will never change and we have compiled the top ten tips for writing a comprehensive, interview winning CV.

  1. Prepare– spend quality time evaluating the skills and qualifications that the job advert is asking for and ensure you match them. If not there is really no need to apply as you are more than likely to be unsuccessful. In certain circumstances it is much more effective to send out 10 directed CVs rather than 1000 general CVs.
  2. Content – prior to making a start on the CV, make a detailed list of the skills and unique experiences you have had in your career history, personal life, education etc. Try and ensure you list dates of achievements and ideally figures / examples of excellence.
  3. What information to include –there is certain information that must be included (you would be amazed by the amount of CVs we read at CVpal that do not have contact telephone numbers etc on them!). Include your name, address, telephone numbers (mobile and home), email address (ensure it isn’t a strange address i.e. think how the employer will envisage you if your email is smellypants@).
  4. Additional Information to include –some good information to include in the CV could be voluntary work completed, charity fund raising, language skills, sport achievements and interests.
  5. Design –this is a vital part of the CV; you can have the most fabulously content rich CV however if it looks dull or messy it will ruin the impact. Your CV has around 2 minutes to achieve an interview for you before the employer loses interest. Therefore grab their attention, think of ways to section the CV into clear areas, for example Personal Profile, Skills and Expertise, Education and Qualifications, Career History and Interests / Other Information. Try various options and do look at including colour, however only for titles etc.
  6. Advice –once you have put together your first format of your new CV it is vital to get someone else to read it to check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and to ensure it emphasises your skills and personality
  7. Market the CV correctly – once you are happy with the format and wording of your CV you need to ensure that you market it in the places employers will see it. Register on the top 10 online job sites, scan local press and finally a great way to gain interviews is to hand deliver the CV to companies that you have identified as employers you would like to work for.
  8. Make changes –you should always make changes to your CV dependent on the jobs you are applying for. It should be a “working document.” It is worth having a CV that can be generic for placing on job sites but do look at making changes to emphasis skills that have been highlighted as essential in job specifications and adverts.
  9. Ask for feedback – if you have sent your CV to lots of jobs and not heard anything back from the potential employers or you have not received any interviews there is nothing wrong with telephoning the employer and asking (politely) why you weren’t successful.
  10. Ask a professional –sometimes we all have to realise that our skills and expertise could be in differing areas. Therefore asking a professional to write your CV for you could be one of the most cost effective and time effective things you could do. Ensure if you choose this method that you are happy with the service and trust the writer.
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