What is a CV?
A CV is a tool traditionally used to market your skills, experience and ability to an employer. As more organisations advertise online and use their own application forms you may be asked for a CV less than previously, however it is still likely you will need a CV.
Added to this a CV is a really useful exercise to help you give you an awareness of all the skills you have gained in the jobs and courses and experiences you have had. Every role you apply for with a CV should be tailored to that specific job, so it may be worth having a ‘master’ type CV that is in the format you want but that lists every job, skill, course and qualification you have done.
As you analyse the requirements for each job you can cut the bits out of the CV that you don’t think are relevant. Have a look at the advice, possible formats and links to examples CVs on the rest of this page.
What needs to go in my CV?
The best CV is the one that gets you the interview and it is really subjective, what one employer likes another may not. However there are some basic rules that can help make sure your potential next employer doesn’t ditch your CV:
Grab their attention. Some studies suggest employers spend an average of six seconds looking at a CV. Therefore your CV needs to be relevant to the job you are applying for and the most relevant information needs to be on the first page.
Present it well. Make sure the format is clear with a good font, don’t clutter the CV with too many words. Make sure there are no errors and don’t go over 2 pages.
Don’t waste your words. You need to make sure every word has meaning. Try to stay away from buzzwords – hardworking, punctual etc – they are the bare minimum! Instead try to give specific examples of things you are proud of and the skills you gained from doing them.
Look at the link for advice on how an employer looks at your CV