A CV or résumé is the most important document that you may write so it is important that you know how to write a CV. A CV is essentially a marketing document that promotes your skills, abilities, experience and qualifications to your prospective employer.
A CV should include an outline of your educational and professional history and it is a wise idea to tailor your CV and personal profile to every position you apply for. Try to relate your skills and experiences to those needed in the desired job.
When writing a CV be concise and ensure that everything that is included is there for a reason and relevant. This will help to ensure that your CV is easy to read.
When you create a CV ensure that there are no gaps or inconsistencies with dates as these will be quickly picked up. You should also ensure that you don’t fabricate anything as this may show up in references and could ultimately result in the retraction of the job offer that you have worked hard to attain.
If your career history is short then you should consider including more details about your interests and achievements. Hobbies that are out of the ordinary can help you to stand out but you should avoid mentioning solitary hobbies that might suggest to an employer that you cannot work in a team.
Check your spelling and grammar. If you use a spell checker then ensure that it is set to UK English to ensure that words like “colour” are not spelled as the American variant “color”.
If your CV is to be posted do not fold it and instead use an A4 envelope. It is more common today for your CV to be read on a computer screen so if you need to send your CV electronically use a font like Verdana, which was designed with screen readability in mind.
Your application should include a covering letter and your CV layout should be set out with a clearly defined format.
There is no one best way to structure a CV but it should include a basic framework including previous related work experience, qualifications, skills, accomplishments, contact information, personal experiences, languages spoken and computer skills.
Laid out over 1-2 single-sided pages, your CV should include your name printed on all pages. If your CV is extensive then achieving a dual page CV can be tricky.
To achieve this consider widening your page margins, using a narrow font, use bullet points instead of long paragraphs and remove any content that doesn’t add value to your CV. You can also omit references to save space and state that references are available on request instead. If you have multiple references to offer, choose two that are most relevant to the job applied for.
Be positive when listing your educational achievements and place your highest grades first. When using bullet points either use or do not use punctuation at the end of each point. Consistency is the key to a successful CV layout.
Once you have completed your CV check it again to ensure it is clearly laid out, informative yet concise and has an accurate use of grammar and spelling.