CV Writing Tips

October 30, 2014

10 Tips to a perfect CV…

When it comes to applying for your first job out of University, getting your CV just right is the key to get the initial foot in the door and securing an interview – but how do you ensure your CV will be noticed and not just thrown straight in the bin?

Putting together a successful CV is surprisingly easy once you know how. It’s a case of taking all your skills and experience and tailoring them to the job you’re applying for.

Key Basics

These include:
personal and contact information;
education and qualifications;
work history and/or experience;
relevant skills to the job in question;
own interests, achievements or hobbies;
and reference details.

Also try and stick to no more than two pages of A4. Ensure there is no spelling or grammatical mistakes.

Personal Statement

Including a personal statement a couple of sentences long about why you are suitable for the job can help your CV look tailored and carefully thought about.

Make your CV look good

A successful CV is always carefully and clearly presented, and printed on clean, crisp white paper. The layout should always be clear and well structured. This can be acheieved by using bullet points and keeping sentences short and concise.

Understand what you are applying for

Having properly read the job specification and identifying the key skills the employer is looking for it will help you to tailor your CV. Ensure you get across all of the skills you do have from past work experience, and the areas were you are lacking try and adapt the skills you do have from other areas.

Tailor your CV

Once you have established what the job entails and how you can match each requirement, create a CV specifically for that role. Every CV you send to a potential employee should be tailored to that role and the point out the keys relevant skills.

Make the most of your skills

Under the skills section of your CV mention key skills that can help you to stand out from the crowd. This can be done by using key ‘buzzwords’ that will help your CV be suited to the job your applying for. This can include:
communication skills;
computer skills;
team working;
problem solving or even speaking a foreign language.

Skills can come out of the most unlikely places, so really think about what you’ve done to grow your own skills, even if you take examples from being in a local sports team or joining a voluntary group – it’s all relevant.

Include Interests
Including interests doesn’t mean list things like watching television or shopping but it is a chance for you to portray the skills you have gained doing extra curricula activities or sporting hobbies.
Describe any examples of positions of responsibility, working in a team or anything that shows you can use your own initiative. For example, if you ran your university’s newspaper or if you started a university halls netball team that became a success.

Use assertive and positive language

When describing what your experience is under the work experience section, use positive language such a “organised”, “achieved” or “developed”.

Include reference details

References should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can vouch for your skills and experience. If you’ve never worked before you’re OK to use a teacher or tutor as a referee. Try to include two if you can.

Tell the truth

Do not lie on your CV it can land you in a lot of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can’t answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be VERY awkward!