The Top Ways to Succeed in CV Writing
A well-written CV will showcase your key skills, strengths and achievements to potential employers.
There are three style options when writing a CV, namely Chronological, Functional or a mix of both. The Chronological style is most effective and should be used for a specific career path with increasing job responsibility as it emphasises consistent progress. If switching from one field to another the Functional CV is an alternative as it shifts the focus from previous job positions and employment dates to transferable skills. Potential employers can be wary of functional CV’s however as it is difficult to follow an employment record.
The right length
The best length for a CV is two pages of A4, which should highlight all previous positions and responsibilities. Longer CVs can be acceptable and are sometimes necessary but exceeding three pages is not recommended. The length is sometimes affected by the way the content of the CV is organised. A single page may be overcrowded and therefore hard to read. Bullet points and numbering is advised as opposed to using whole blocks of text. It’s recommended that CV’s are written in the ‘third person’ form, as it’s more formal and authentic.
Address and Contact details
Education (New graduates should list key academic achievements)
Professional qualifications (including those that are ongoing with anticipated completion dates)
Brief personal profile
Employment history including company name, job title, employment dates, main duties and responsibilities and noteworthy achievements (focusing on the most recent roles only)
Other relevant information e.g. language skills, IT skills
When e-mailing the CV ensure the attached file is saved as your full name (and not ‘CV’) to prevent loss by the potential employer. The CV should be in black on white in Arial or Times New Roman (11 or 12 point font size). Formatting such as bold or italics should be used for major headings.
The covering letter
It is important to include a covering letter or e-mail which introduces your profile and the fit to the role and explains why you’d like to join this particular company.
Tailoring the CV
CV’s should be tailored for each job application, matching the profile to the job description.
Reviewing the CV
Proof read for grammatical, spelling or typographical errors. The CV should be detailed enough to secure you an interview, it does not need to exhaustively list every project or responsibility you’ve ever had. You can discuss relevant issues in more detail in person during an interview.
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