Focus on finding out what the employer wants to see in a candidate, then build a CV that shows them in detail that you have what they want.
Reading a job advert carefully
Carefully go over the job description making a list of all of the skills, abilities, experience and qualifications that the employer is asking for. Then write your CV so that it shows and demonstrates that you have all of the requirements being asked for.
Your contact information
Without wishing to state the obvious it is important to clearly list your personal details. Include your name, full postal address, both home and mobile telephone numbers and your email address. Do not put down your present employers email address or your current place of work telephone number.
This is similar to a covering letter and as it is listed at the top of your CV its a good opportunity for you to quickly connect with the recruiter. Be concise and to the point, show that you know what the vacancy requires and that you have the skills to do it. This will make employer take notice and want to read more of your CV. At the end of the career objective (as it is also known) mention specifically the position that you are looking for.
Listing your previous work experience and achievements
For maximum effect first give a short paragraph describing the company and your job role there. Then list by short bullet points your duties and responsibilities, focus on those points related to the job you are applying for. Key industry related skills and technical competencies are what recruiters value the most so try to focus on these.
Use powerful industry specific words that highlight your professional duties and contribution to your work. If necessary give figures of what you achieved, for instance if you increased sales by 50% then highlight that. If you have been with one employer for a long time then show any promotions attained within that company.
List your current or previous job title.
Give details of the company name and which City or country they are located in. List the dates that you have been employed for. If you are still employed there then state something like ‘January 2009 to present’.
Use bullet points to list those duties that you performed and any personal achievements that are related to the vacancy you are applying for.
Areas of expertise
Have a section in your CV where you can list by short bullet point those skill sets or areas of expertise that you either specialize in, have experience of or are qualified in. By keeping them short and to the point they will quickly catch the recipients eye.
For instance if you were a accountant you could list your areas of expertise as:-
- Financial project management
- Accounting systems
- Financial analysis
- Cash flow
It is best to put this section on the first page of your CV in the top middle of the page, as studies have shown that this is where most readers first look at. Keep the bullet points well spaced and easy to read.
Education and academic qualifications
Give details of your school, college and university education. Focus on those subjects where your grades were good.
Secondary school education – Only include details of this if you have less than five years of work experience or have not been to university or had any other higher education. Other reasons to include your secondary school results would be if you had very good A level results, are a first time job hunter, or if your qualifications are strongly related to the job you are applying for.
Hobbies and interests
If you have room left in your CV then you have the option of mentioning what you do in your leisure time. You should mention them if they are related to your industry, for instance if you are a strong swimmer and may have won competitions then you should mention this if you are applying to be a life guard.
A important point to remember is not to lie about your hobbies in your CV, as you may get caught out. An example of this being that if you do get to the interview stage and you have mentioned that you are an enthusiastic theatre goer when your not. You may be found out if the interviewer turns out to know everything about theatres and innocently starts to ask you some detailed questions about them.
There is no need to put in the name and contact details of any references that you have. A simple sentence like ‘Available on request’ will do.
In the event that you are asked to provide references, then you should identify two individuals who you can use as your referees, preferably these should be your ex managers or supervisors. If you have not worked before then ask your previous school teachers or tutors if they would be kind enough to give you a reference. It is important that you get a referees’ permission first before you pass their contact details onto a potential employer.