So you are looking for a job. Whether part-time or otherwise, an apprenticeship or direct to the company. Your CV is the first impression that you will make on a prospective employer, so getting it right is paramount. It can be difficult, particularly when you have never written a CV previously. So here are a few top tips on how to write your CV.
Firstly, ensure you have all the basics. The main points that everyone should have on their CV are:
You are the title!
Don’t write CV or Curriculum Vitae as the main title for your CV. It’s your CV – you’re the star here so put your name as the main title.
Clues are in the job description
Read through the job description thoroughly highlighting key words and phrasing. If they mention there are looking for someone who is ‘willing to learn and reliable’, then write in your personal statement/profile ‘willing to learn and reliable’ but only if you are! It will be very obvious once they meet you if you are not, or if your school attendance etc do not reflect this.
If the job includes travel opportunities, then say ‘willing and interested to travel for work’ but again only if you actually are. However, don’t copy large chunks from the job description!! Try and say it in a different way to show you really understand what the employer needs. If you do not paraphrase, then it may be interpreted as laziness, a lack of understanding of the role or taken in some other negative way.
Unless the job description actually ask for references, simply right “References available on request”. This shows you have others prepared to vouch for you. DO NOT put contact details, as agencies may use this to contact Employers without actually, considering you for a job. Only provide if you have made a direct application to the employer and/or actually had an interview.
Max 2 pages ONLY
Keep it to two pages only. If it is longer, try and re-phrase things using less words, or change formatting to help. For example, have narrower margins, smaller text but not too small or use columns for your qualifications. If it still doesn’t fit then you have to decide what to cut out.
Make sure your information is clear and presented professionally. Don’t try and be too fancy or colourful. However, it needs to be easy to read. Employers and recruitment agents receive so many CVs that if it is hard to follow, they may simply decide not to bother. Use bold for headings, italic bold for sub-heading, job titles etc. Break up large blocks of text with paragraphs or use bullet points to make responsibilities in a particular role clear.
Although not a part of your CV, make sure you clean up your social media footprint. Employers are likely to search your details and check. So always avoid posting too many pictures of you messing about with your mates, or having public insults and arguments with others on their Facebook walls or via Twitter. Use private message groups for your conversations with friends.