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CV guide


Your first impression

In most cases, the first impression a prospective employer gets of a candidate is from their CV. It is therefore vitally important that you make it count.

A CV is your first opportunity to present your skills and experience to an employer. It is your sales brochure, your chance to market yourself. As such, it needs to grab the reader's attention quickly and hold them, by providing sufficient detail and relevant information to interest them enough to invite you for an interview. The reality is that you have less than 30 seconds to make an impression with your CV.

It is almost impossible to say what goes to make the perfect CV. However, there are some simple guidelines that can be followed to give your CV the best chance of being picked out.

Your CV should include the following basic information.

Personal details
You'll need to include: your name, your address and contact number, your date of birth and your email address.

Your career profile
This should be short and snappy (three or four lines) and is a really good opportunity to sell yourself. You can include your professional status with career highlights, skills and strengths and career ambitions.

Your employment history
List in chronological order with current/most recent position first. Your current/most recent position should include the most detail. Include a brief description of the role and bullet points on your key responsibilities/achievements.

Your education history
List the most recent first and only list relevant education (not school qualifications unless you have just graduated).

Interests and achievements
Include a brief list of your main hobbies and interests to show that you are an interesting and fun person.

References
Do not give details. Simply state 'available on request'.

General advice

  • Ideally your CV should be no longer than three pages. As previously mentioned you have less than 30 seconds to make an impression
  • Your CV should be neat and easy to read
  • Don't leave gaps. If you have had any breaks in your career history, account for them
  • Be honest and don't under/oversell yourself. List some of your key achievements and quantify them. Show your strengths
  • Ensure your CV has been spell checked and thoroughly proof read. Get a third party to check it for you. It is easy to miss errors when you have been concentrating on a document for a long time
  • For technical candidates itemise your technical skills, listing all operating systems, programming languages, platforms and software languages in which you are experienced

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