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A C.V is your most powerful tool when trying to find a job. This document has to represent you and all of your best qualities – because before any potential employer even sets eyes on you, they will judge you by whatever is written on this piece of paper.

Your C.V will be one of many that will be viewed for a particular job; so you need to be able to make sure that yours stands out.   This is particularly difficult when it is said you only have around five seconds to grab the attention of your potential employer…

Presentation of a C.V

As your C.V is a reflection of you, being positive and making it look neat and professional is crucial for a successful application.  Keeping things simple will be effective as the more complicated and fancy you make it, the less likely the employer will bother reading it.

Other tips on how to present your C.V. include:

  • Organise your C.V into clear headings and sections, this means that an employer can easily scan through, picking out the important bits for them.  Also make sure that there is a logical order to the layout.
  • Choose a professional, easy to read typeface for obvious reasons, using Times New Roman and Arial are good choices – Comic Sans MS or Lucida Handwriting are not.
  • Spelling mistakes and typos will not go down well and can mean an immediate refusal – as the C.V will reflect you, this will seem as if you are careless and that you can’t be bothered to check things properly.  Any marks or drink stains etc. will also look very bad.
  • Keep it short.  Any more than two pages of A4 paper will be too much leaving an employer feeling a bit overwhelmed; so much so that they will not want to read through an essay of information when another simpler C.V is right next to them.  If you’re finding it difficult sticking to this limit then remember, you only need to include information that will be relevant to this particular job.

What to include

There is no set formula in writing a C.V.  There is however, a series of headings that you should include in order to give your potential employer all the information they need to consider you for an interview.

  • Contact details.  This will include your name, address, phone number and email address.  Using a more professional email will look much better rather than having an informal one that was created when you were a teenager!  Create another account if you need to – having your name is the best type of email address (if possible).
  • Personal statement.  This is a short section of writing (several lines or so) at the beginning of your C.V that explains who you are, you’re most appealing skills and the experiences that will make you ideal for the job you are applying for.  You should also include your ambitions and career objectives.
  • Education, qualifications and training.  With this section, you need to put the most recent achievement first.  Qualifications – either from school, college or university can be included, as well as any training gained from previous jobs.  Try not to make this part too long, just highlight the most significant and impressive bits.
  • Career history.  This also needs to have the most recent job first on the list.  Make sure you include the dates, achievements and skills that you gained.  Any work experience that applies to the type of job you’re applying for will also be useful.  Voluntary or part-time jobs can be included if it seems as if you haven’t had enough experience.
  • Interests.  This can be useful if it includes activities that support you’re application, for example if you are a member of a club or society which is related to the industry or any hobbies that emphasise valuable skills.
  • References.  Unless specifically told to, you do not need to include references on your C.V.  You just need to state ‘references are available on request’.

Before sending off you’re C.V there are a few points to take into consideration:

  • Never lie.  You will be caught out if you over-exaggerate which could result in never being considered by that company again.
  • Always tailor make your C.V for a specific company; there will be certain information that will only be relevant to particular businesses.
  • Print off your C.V and read it more than once and have someone else check through it.  Look for grammatical errors, typos and just to make sure that it generally flows well.

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