CV Writing Tips
What should your CV contain?
Home, work and mobile telephone number.
Details of the visa or work permits you carry if you have come from overseas.
List your academic qualifications in chronological order.
Start with your most recent qualifications first.
List your professional qualifications in the order received.
If you have received any training which you feel will be relevant, add those in beneath.
Your ability using software skills is always entirely relevant.
If you have language skills, these will add weight to your CV.
Be sure to mention your proficiency in using your skills, whether your languages are fluent or conversational and if you are an expert with certain software or have only used the basic package.
Write up your previous roles in chronological order, with the most recent first.
It's usually not necessary to include early work that you took that isn't related to the role you're applying for, unless you are only just starting out in your career.
Include the company name, your position and the dates of your employment.
Bullet-point the job details that compare favourably with the position you're applying for.
Demonstrate that you have added value, showing areas where your contributions have made an impact.
Also include details of how you have handled pressure, which duties have tight deadlines and show your ability to perform quickly and with high accuracy.
In some instances it's a good idea to include a reason for leaving as employers will often enquire about this in the interview.
Keep it relevant
Long paragraphs about your personality or motivation are generally discouraged, as these are intangible aspects that can only be proved with references or through the interview process. In addition, photographs are considered by many to be an unnecessary addition.
If there is an explainable gap in your employment, if you went travelling for example, or were on maternity leave, it is wise to mention it, as this is an area that can put employers off. Similarly, if you had a number of different employers over a short space of time, it is wise to give reasons for this if you are able to.
Adding hobbies and interests is fine but this should be kept to a minimum.
Keep the presentation simple
The formatting of your CV needn't be too elaborate. There's no need to include company logos for your past employers or other colourful design nuances.
It's wise to make details clearer using bold headings and bullet points as these make the process of reading them more simple - long paragraphs of plain text are difficult to extract information from.
Bear in mind that by over-designing your résumé you may potentially put a client off and distract them from your skills and experience. If you have worked in the Marketing sector, however, some flair for visual design may be an advantage, so use your discretion and stick to the code of 'less is more'.
Keep it accurate
Before passing on your CV in the hope of finding a new position it's always best to reread it to check if any new or additional skills, training or experience could be added to bolster your chances of acquiring the role.
Check the CV through before sending for any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Better still, have someone read it through for you, especially someone who regularly works with CVs in their job.
Think about the role you are applying for and place emphasis on the duties and positions that best reflect your ability to work in that position. Tailor your CV to the job.
Keep it short
It's important to be concise as you will be able to cover your skills and experience in greater depth in your interview.
We recommend a maximum of a two-page document for most candidates, whilst senior candidates with 10 years' experience in the industry will probably be able to fill a three to four page résumé.
When detailing your schooling, you are only required to cover the final degree you earned, A level results and GCSE results, or the equivalent if you studied anywhere other than the UK. Only the grades are required, further information on the modules you covered can be discussed in interview if relevant, otherwise they act as filler and can put an employer off reading the rest of your CV.
Your recent employment also needs to be succinct and to the point. A sentence describing the company you currently or previously worked for is all that is required rather than a detailed company history. Our clients have also made it clear that, when detailing your skills, the most relevant to the role you are applying for or those which demonstrate your seniority (e.g. managing a team) should come first in a list of ten to twelve bullet points. If you worked overseas, specify the sector of a company if it may not be considered a recognised global brand name.
Some employers like to see the company turnover of the firms you have previously worked with.