Think of your CV as your shop window, often the presentation will encourage or possibly even discourage people from coming into your shop so it has to be attractive, clear, interesting. This is your first point of sale contact – make sure it has impact and is inviting.
There are no hard and fast rules; CV writing is not set in stone. Follow these simple tips to appeal to a majority audience.
- Use a simple, common, widely recognised typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman for example. Artistic or gimmicky fonts are not always professional and may put people off. Don’t use different coloured fonts, keep to the same black text all the way through.
- Use sub headings to highlight different categories i.e. Profile, Employment History, Education etc. This helps employers go immediately to the information that they are most interested in.
- Introduce yourself at the start, brief personal details such as name and contact information.
- Follow your personal information with a brief profile, ideally no more than 3 or 4 sentences giving a snapshot view of your skills, experience and personality. Employers can immediately get an overall immediate impression.
- Employment history comes next starting with your most recent job. List your duties and key responsibilities clearly in bullet point format, also main achievements and skills you have acquired, don’t ramble. This should include the name of the company, dates of employment and position held.
- Education should then follow, don’t go back to when you were at primary school, employers are only interested in your senior education qualifications. Be sure to add any relevant training courses that you have attended.
- Make sure you cover any gaps in employment e.g. maternity breaks, travelling etc. Employers will want a full history.
- If possible keep your CV to 2 pages or a maximum of 3 but any more than this will be too much and probably won’t get read.
- Always check and double-check your CV. A spelling mistake may mean that you go straight on the no pile when short-listing a number of candidates for interview.
- If you are going to put your hobbies and interests on your CV, make sure that they are interesting! Reading for example needs more depth so if you are particularly interested in reading crime fiction, then add that in your statement.