A CV is the first thing a potential employer will see when considering you for a role, so it is important to convince them you are the right person from the very first sentence.
If you’ve found in the past that you don’t even get to the interview stage, where you can really showcase your skills and experience, this may well be due to your CV, so it’s essential that you give it a lot of thought. For instance, many employers will dismiss a CV if it includes a photo! CVs that are overly long or short are often put to the bottom of the pile too, so make sure you structure your CV well, and don’t ramble or miss key details.
There are several important things to remember when crafting your CV - we’ve listed the main six considerations below.
An intriguing and simple overview about you and your career goals – don't be reluctant to blow your own trumpet a bit! For a lot of people, it can be embarrassing to boast about their achievements, but this is the best time to do so!
Show key accomplishments in previous roles or relevant experience. For instance, you may have been influential to solving a difficult problem, or exceeding your targets. While you don’t want to write an essay, it is helpful to illustrate these achievements with specific examples.
Go into detail about what you can do - for example, what particular tools are you proficient with? What skills do you have that are relevant for the role you are applying for? The more technical and specific you are the better - if you’re applying for a software development role, for instance, make sure you include precisely which software programmes and platforms you're proficient in.
Start with your latest job and work in reverse. Ensure you incorporate full dates of work (MM/YYYY design), job title, employer’s name, and an itemized overview of your responsibilities, and accomplishments in the job. Try to tailor your employment history to the role you’re applying for, emphasising the details that relate to the job.
Include the dates, grades, and course name, and where you achieved them. Some employers may ask to see your qualification certificates, so make sure you hunt these down if you think you might be called upon to show them! This is also a good way of double checking you’ve got all the dates and grades correct.
This is a great opportunity to showcase your personality! You may not realise it, but your personality is vitally important for whether a company may think you’ll be a cultural fit for their organisation.
If you want some help building out your CV, get in touch with us so we can help improve your profile!
DO check your spelling
Don’t just rely on the spell checker to catch spelling and grammar mistakes, read through the CV carefully to make sure everything is correct and makes sense.
DO get a friend to proof read your CV
A fresh eye is useful to spot mistakes or offer suggestions, so ask someone else to proof read it for you. Once you’ve read your CV three or four times, it’s difficult to stand back and look at it objectively. Never try and finish your CV in one sitting, always go back to it after a couple of days.
DO remember to attach your CV
When applying for jobs online and check you’ve attached the correct file.
DO sell yourself
Make sure you include a full description or list of your duties and responsibilities for your current and previous roles as well as what you feel you achieved during the role.
DO keep it simple
A client will lose interest if your CV is hard to read. A simple font with clear spacing between the different sections is best.
DON’T include your current employer as a reference
You wouldn’t want them being asked if they would re-hire you when you haven’t even told them you’re leaving!
DON’T turn it into a novel
It is important to include as much relevant information as possible, but make it concise. Two pages are ideal, but don’t worry if it goes on to a third if you feel the content is relevant.
Putting false information on your CV is a waste of your time and the client’s and will only give a bad impression when you are found out.
DON’T forget your target audience
If you’re a graphic designer, feel free to wow the client with your design skills on your CV. But if you’re an Administrator, a flashy CV with lots of graphics will look unnecessary and unprofessional.
DON’T just post your CV anywhere
Remember that putting your CV online means that anyone can see it, so think carefully about the websites you’re adding your details to and who will be able to view your CV.
We’re sure you already know how to prepare for an interview but it’s good to remember the following points for your interview prep. First impressions really count in interviews so it is vitally important that you are presented in a professional way.
Below are our hints for conducting a successful interview
DO dress appropriately and cover up tattoos
Make sure your outfit is smart, clean and ironed. A suit and shirt/blouse is ideal and ensure your shoes are clean. Remember that for certain roles you may need to cover up tattoos and remove any facial piercings, this includes tongue studs.
DO make time for personal grooming
Gents, clean-shaven or neat beard with clean and brushed hair. Ladies – a neat hairstyle and no excessive make up or jewellery.
DO your research
Carefully study the company website so you are prepared for any questions they may ask you.
DO give a firm handshake
Shake the interviewer’s hand when you walk in. Use a firm grip but not enough to crush their hand! A smile, a firm handshake and a "pleased to meet you" goes a long way.
DO ask questions
Asking questions will give the impression that you are interested and have paid attention during the interview. Ask insightful questions about the role and the company, not just about parking, holiday, pay and benefits.
DON’T get lost for words
Make sure you have considered what questions the interviewer may ask so you don’t get stuck for a response. They may ask about reasons for leaving previous roles or gaps in employment, so have an answer prepared. Think about why you want the job, and what you can bring to the role.
Even if you feel nervous, acting confidently will give a better impression.
Fiddling with your hair or jewellery gives the impression that you are nervous or distracted.
DON’T leave your phone on
Having your phone go off or vibrate during your interview will just distract you and will not impress the interviewer. Make sure it is switched off.
DON’T give the wrong impression
Telling the interviewer about the wild party you had last night does not paint you in a professional light.