CV Advice

Your CV is a representation, which should reflect your personality and what is important to you. When applying for a job, it is likely that you will be one of many candidates. Presenting an effective CV is one way of getting noticed from the outset. Interviewers may decide whether or not to see you on the strength of your CV. Do not just think of it as a list of facts; it should be a resume of your personal, educational and career history, showing your strengths and achievements.

Presentation

  • Always type your CV.
  • Use good quality paper. It creates a good impression.
  • Avoid gimmicks, elaborate designs, or fancy typefaces.
  • Your CV represents you and should not arrive looking tatty.

Content

Structure your CV by writing a list of important headings. Include your name, date of birth, address, telephone number (evenings and daytime), qualifications (include examination results), work history, any major achievements, hobbies and interests.

  • Account for any gaps in your CV.
  • Do not forget leisure pursuits - participating in sports, for example, shows good potential for teamwork.
  • Where possible, make the CV relevant to the position you are applying for.
  • Lay out your CV so it is easy to read and understand.
  • Start with your most recent job. It is more relevant for the reader to see your current position and duties first.
  • Break your job role down into areas of responsibility. Detail the duties within each area, in point fashion for easy reference.
  • Avoid industry jargon.
  • Use space constructively; omit irrelevant experience, examination failures, etc.
  • Check your spelling carefully and get a friend to double check-it.
  • Be concise, do not bore the reader. Two pages is the optimum length.

Do not claim qualifications which you do not have. Increasingly, employers will terminate the employment of, or not employ, candidates who cannot provide proof of qualifications such as GCE/GCSE, degrees and secretarial certificates.

Between the Lines

  • Ensure the information is correct and relevant. Most companies will reject a CV with spelling or typing errors.
  • Do not omit any vital information such as your age. It will be obvious that you are trying to hide something.
    If you spent a year or two travelling, say so. Years on a CV that are unaccounted for are always suspicious.
  • Never lie on a CV, or you will undermine yourself from the onset, and may be found out in the future.
    If you have worked somewhere for a few years, explain briefly how your job title and responsibilities have changed. Show how you have developed since joining the company.
  • Highlight major achievements, especially those most recently. Have you successfully managed any projects or brought in new systems or increased sales? Show on paper that you are an asset to your present employer.
  • Do not ask for your CV to be returned many companies do keep them on file.
  • Keep a copy of your CV, read it before your interview and take two clean, crisp, unfolded copies to the interview (one for you, and one for the interviewer).

CV / RESUME WRITING

A CV is to illustrate your professional experience and qualifications to someone you have probably never met in order to get an invitation for interview. Therefore, simplicity and first impressions count. It is well worth spending some time in tailoring your CV to ensure that it is maximising your changes to reach the next stage. Please follow the following steps and feel free to discuss your CV with a Pentasia Consultant for a second opinion.

  • Length of CV

There is no absolute right or wrong way to write a CV and styles vary greatly from different continents. Your CV may also reflect some individuality and can say a lot more about you than purely the wording. However, it is generally accepted that a CV should be approximately two to four pages. It should be detailed enough to capture the attention of the reader and arouse their interest for interview, but not so lengthy that becomes tiresome to read. You will need to have plenty of detail left to discuss during the interview.

  • Spell Checker

You would not believe how many CVs we receive with spelling mistakes. With Spell Checking functionality on every PC in the World there should be no excuse for not spending an additional five minutes double checking the spelling or asking a friend to check over your work.

  • Layout

Your CV should be written in reverse chronological order i.e. current / most recent first. The more current your experience, the more relevant and more detail you should divulge. You should taper down your experience the older it becomes, particularly if it is largely irrelevant to the current career direction.

The front page should clearly show at a glance what job you are currently doing including job title, employer, duration of service etc. It is effective to include a Career Synopsis somewhere soon after your name. Busy executive recruiters will be able to gain a clear idea of your depth of experience, field of expertise, and aspirations at a glance, and without having to read highly narrative script over numerous pages.

  • Use Quantifiable Statements

Avoid writing unquantifiable statements such as 'I am a nice person, good team worker, and hard worker' etc. Instead, ensure that you are making factually quantifiable statements such as 'ten years experience within the media industry', 'two years experience on leading and managing a team' and 'I am a Marketing Director with two years acquisition & retention experience'

  • Use simple 'Key Words'

Almost every recruitment consultancy utilises special recruitment software to store your details into a large database system. To ensure that you maximise your chances of being included in 'key word' searches it is worth writing your CV in such a way that your text is easily understood by recruitment consultants and database administrators.

If you are in doubt on any aspects of your CV please feel free to Contact any one of our consultants for more information.


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