How to write the perfect CV to secure that interview
Have you ever wondered how to write the perfect CV?
Your CV is the first point of contact between you and your potential new employer and is often all the know about you. It’s your first chance to promote yourself to an employer.
A good CV will get you to an interview. It may seem simple but remember to spell and grammar check your CV before you submit it as this will demonstrate attention to detail and doesn’t distract the reader with avoidable errors. Keep in mind font size and colour, ensuring that your CV is readable online and in a printable format.
Best CV Fonts
– Trebuchet MS
– Gill Sans
– Book Antiqua
To ensure clarity and readability use a font size between ten and twelve point. Remember that large fonts can look unprofessional. If you are looking to emphasise section headings then increase the font size to 4 points larger than your main body text. Subtle use of bolding and italics is also a good way to draw attention to important information. But avoid underlining as it looks messy and can come across as aggressive.
Focus on what you have achieved in your previous roles. Don’t list a range of tasks, but focus on the outcomes of your work and experience, and provide honest, measurable evidence. Bullet point achievements and key points rather than writing them in paragraphs. Don’t make each point too complicated and only use between four and six.
Length of CV
Try to only use one page however if you have a longer work history, two pages is fine. Three pages is only for more senior roles, particularly in management or complex industries. And the only time your CV should be longer than three pages is for certain specialised academic and research posts.
The structure of your CV
You’ll need to include:
– your full name at the top of your document (don’t use nicknames), no-one will give “Mucker” an interview.
– your full address and postcode
– telephone or mobile number – give the number you’re most likely to be available on during the working day
– email address is a most but always use a professional sounding email address email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org
– provide relevant professional links such as your LinkedIn profile, remember that Facebook and Instagram are not viewed as professional networks, more social. You can write the perfect CV and ruin it with a link that will take a recruiter to content you might have forgotten was online.
You should avoid including irrelevant details such as your age, date of birth, marital status and nationality. These are not required.
Make your profile sound like you’re the right person for the job. Your personal profile should make the connection between what the recruiter is looking for and the skills you have. IE “As a qualified marketing executive, I am passionate about brand recognition”, not “I am looking for a job in Marketing because I like social media”
Your education history
You’ll need to give:
– the names of your qualifications
– the school, college or university where you studied
– the dates you attended
Remember to check your official documentation, if you put the wrong grade on a CV and the appointed, this error could cost you your job further down the line.
Remember to include any work placements and volunteering work as well as your paid employment in this section.
For the body of your CV our advice is to always left align only, no justification. This is standard formal business layout and reads better, this is a key feature on how to write the perfect CV.
This is a pet hate. Use the right filename for your CV. It’s one of the first things a recruiter sees and it would surprise you how many take notice of this fundamental element. Whilst it might look fine, always avoid “CV.pdf,” your CV file will be impossible to identify and get lost with the thousands of others who made this mistake. Likewise, with initials or complex file names only you. Just use your name as an instant bit of personal branding.
CORRECT– JoeBloggsCV.pdf INCORRECT – JBCV.pdf
Finally, apply as directed. Ensure that your application/CV is submitted by the deadline and via the preferred channel (i.e. online, hardcopy etc.). A future employer will often reject late applications or those submitted in the wrong format.
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