Despite the fact that there is an almost unlimited supply of information online about CV’s I’m always surprised by some of the fundamental errors candidates are making on their CV. The recruitment market is extremely competitive and all clients are looking for ‘stand out’ candidates that in their eyes can offer something a bit more than your ‘run of the mill’ employee.
On a day to day basis I spend a vast amount of time looking at CV’s. Your CV should represent you and your work experience and be personal to you. Whilst CV’s do not give potential employers the full picture there is no denying that they are the gateway to an interview……that may well lead to the next step in your career. So here is a list of our top tips (in no particular order):
Go through your CV with a fine tooth comb, picking up on any errors however small they are. Pay particular attention to grammar, font size and make sure there is uniformity in the presentation.
Display your work experience in chronological order starting with the most recent.
Explain any gaps in employment of more than 3 months, were you travelling, doing a course?
If you feel you have a lot to say consider creating a web address that points to your own personal web page which gives more detail, examples of work and achievements worth talking about. This will help keep your CV unnecessarily long and allow employers to explore further if they are interested in you.
Your CV should stand out from the crowd. Think about subtle details like coloured fonts or headers, favorable quotes from previous employers or clients, achievements outside of work that relate to you as an individual.
Spelling mistakes (there really is no excuse ) unnecessary waffle, long generic phrases that bear no resemblance to the real you, repetitiveness….don’t do it!
No dates of employment or worse incorrect dates of employment / vague dates of employment ie 2013-2013 specific months of employment should be displayed.
Lack of achievements (if you have achieved something worth mentioning in your last role, shout about it!)
Confusing layout, small / inconsistent font size and style, difficult to read, random phrases in bold
CV’s that make War and Peace look like a note book….(summarise earlier work experience into one liners if necessary). Simplify your CV making it easy to read and follow.