How to Write a CV
Crafting a well-presented Curriculum-Vitae (CV) coupled with a seductive personal cover letter in support of any job application is somewhat an art and requires a high level of commitment of your time and continuous effort. Each word and sentence should be meticulously chosen with the aim to sell yourself to the best of your ability and give you the best chance of securing an interview.
Top Tips for the perfect CV
Before you put pen to paper, you need to do your research. To ensure your CV shines through, it is crucial to carefully read the job description and gather as much information as possible about both the position and the company you are applying for. It is vital that your CV is tailored to each application. Using out-of-date CVs that have traces of old applications will leave a sour taste in the mouths of recruiters and potential employers. They may think the candidate is not that committed to the process or that your take shortcuts in aspects of your work too… so always present a fresh CV to give the impression that you are genuinely interested in the role and not just merely sending a CV just for the sake of it. Moreover, taking note of buzzwords which are used in the job descriptions and using them within your CV can be very beneficial in increasing your CV’s search optimisation. For example, if the job description notes that proficiency in Excel is required, ensure that you have “excel” included in your CV, this will increase the likelihood of your CV popping up when the recruiter searches for “excel” in their database of candidates. Most recruiters and Talent Acquisition specialists search for candidates using the keywords detailed in the job description, so be sure to use them in your cover letter and CV to ensure you get on that shortlist! Recruiters rarely have the time to go back and run another search using alternative wording, as relevant candidates present themselves on their first set of search results. This is where you want to be positioned, so be wise and include those keywords!
It is important to keep clarity in mind. Most recruiters run very busy desks and may spend less than five minutes looking over your CV initially. They want to extract information from your CV very quickly, so the data needs to be concise and clear. Your CV should be around 2-3 pages, laid out clearly and methodically. You should refrain from having bunched text, using crazy fonts or bizarre visuals or imagery. The simplest of formats is the most appealing.
Following on from clarity, proper formatting is key in aiding the readability of your CV, there are tonnes of CV templates online on either google docs, Apple Pages or Microsoft Word so check them out as using a pre-set template will save you lots of time in designing your CV. Furthermore, it goes without saying that spelling mistakes are a massive red flag – their are absolutely no excuses for spelling mistakes (see what I did there!). So, when you finish writing your CV, check, recheck and check again.
The use of positive language is overtly effective when writing CVs. Click the following link to be brought to an incredibly useful bank of vocab for your perfect CV.
What Should You Include in your CV?
This obviously goes without saying, but you would be surprised to hear that many CVs that come through our mailbox are missing contact information. So, at the top of your CV make sure to include your full name, full contact address, your mobile number and e-mail address. Where applicable, include your LinkedIn URL. But remember… the profile you are bringing them to must be a close replica of your CV. Recruiters and Talent Acquisition experts may go online to review your profile. They may even look at your activity, your interactions and style /culture of interactions as it tells them a little bit more about your personality.
A little bit about you
The title for this has many names such as personal biography, professional summary, my profile etc. but they all do the same thing; they add a bit of flavour to the CV by incorporating some personal details about you. This five-to-six-line introduction should highlight your talents, previous experience and where your passions lie. If you are applying for a role in finance, you should say that your passion lies within this sector, not within marketing… that’s like asking to marry your girlfriend but telling her that you fancy her cousin! You should take your time in writing this section, this is the first thing recruiters will look at and will either entice or deter them from reading on so make sure it’s attractive and interesting. If it is poorly written, bland, or not in line with the job spec, they may ditch it and your moment of seduction is lost!
A succinct summary of your most recent three to five roles should be given in this section, beginning with the most recent. Around five bullet points should be provided which reflect the genuine nature and scope of responsibilities of your current and previous jobs. Information concerning the start and end date of each position should also be included to give recruiters a timeframe of your employment history. Don’t forget to emphasise any areas you think your prospective employers could find particularly interesting, remember your CV needs to be tailored to the specific role you are applying for! There is more opportunity here to captivate the reader!
Qualifications and Education
A detailed record of your academic history should be included here. If you have been to college or university, you should describe any research projects you have completed, detailing the techniques used in analysing data and curating projects. If you have completed modules which you deem to be relevant to the position you are applying for, include them. Don’t assume your recruiter is a mind reader… if you have achieved something which you think is relevant, include it. If you have completed further post-grad qualifications be sure to insert and explain why you chose that pathway and its relevance to the advertised role. A prospective recruiter would also be interested in learning about your technical agility on systems, operations and how you work with or through people… All hard and soft skills should be documented.
Outside of the office
Last but certainly not least we have the ‘outside of the office’ section. This part again will add a personal touch to your CV, giving the recruiter insight into who you are as a person outside of the office. You should include your interests, hobbies and/or what you do for fun. Instead of focusing on what you achieved, briefly discuss who you are.
If you need a consultation to help in preparing your CV, do not hesitate to contact us and we will support you in writing a compelling CV, who knows we may even have the perfect job awaiting you!