Be Successful with Our Killer C.V Tips
Writing a C.V can be scary, writing about yourself, in general, is hard. So if you are sitting there with a blank screen (or paper!) and don’t have a clue where to start. Don’t panic, it’s ok, I promise! We have you got you covered, we will give you the top tips and advice for writing a killer C.V to help you on your journey back into work.
What is a C.V and why is it so important?
So first of let’s discuss what a C.V is and why it is so important in helping you get into employment. C.V is the shorthand for Curriculum Vitae, which happens to be the Latin word for “story of your life”. You may also have heard the term resume, which is an American term for C.V.
C.V is a document that allows you to showcase yourself, your achievements and skills. It acts as a form of communication between you and a potential employer. Giving you an opportunity to sell yourself to the recruiter and showing them how suitable you are for the job. Now, remember an employer has never met you before so your C.V is a reflection on yourself and capabilities.
That is why a C.V is so important, it is essentially a marketing tool that summarises your qualifications, job history and shows the employer YOUR POTENTIAL.
- First form of communication with the employer
- Outlines your skills and strengths
- Demonstrates your experience and how it relates to the job you are applying for
- Opportunity to show your potential
Here We Go – Tips For Success!
You might not have been asked to send a cover letter but it will really impress if you do. One page or even half a page allows you to introduce yourself to a potential employer.
- Write your cover letter in the style of a formal letter. Make sure you have your name and contact details at the top of the letter.
- Begin the letter with the name of the job title and any reference that was included in the job profile.
- Address the name of the person in a formal manner or if there is no name address the letter to “to whom it may concern.
- At this point remind the recruiter who they are looking for and how you are the right person for the job.
- Don’t overdo it! Just keep it brief and simple outline your skills and experience and highlight how they are relevant to the role and let your personality shine through
- Be polite, don’t forget to thank the employer and be mindful of your presentation. Ensure your spelling and grammar are correct.
- Last but certainly not least make sure your cover letter is RELEVANT to the job. If your applying for a retail job tailor your words and skills to suit that role. If you then go on to apply for another job such as construction. CHANGE your cover letter, so that your skills and experience match that role.
- Begin your C.V with your name and contact details. Make sure you use a formal email address and put down the correct contact details. If you don’t use a landline anymore, don’t put it in!
- Rember your name is the title, no need to put C.V or Curriculum Vitae at the top of the page.
- This is it, this is your moment and time to shine. The personal statement allows you to tell the employer about yourself and why you are right for the role.
- Keep it brief, a small paragraph is enough. This is a short summary.
- Sell yourself in a few short sentences. Outline your skills, experience and how you are right for the job.
- Underneath your personal statement have a header for key skills. In this section list at least five key skills you have.
- Employers will be looking for certain skills for the role they are trying to fill. By listing your key skills in this way, they can quickly see if you have the right skills for the job.
- It is important to research the skills needed for the role you are applying for. The job description may list what sort of skills they are seeking for the position advertised. You should include these skills or a similar version.
- Remember, it is easier than ever to apply for jobs through online methods. Some organizations or job boards may use “Resume Robot or “Applicant Tracking System”. They will scan your C.V for relevant words associated with the job and discard those who haven’t put in the right keywords.
- List your relevant work experience in this section.
- Make sure you have your most recent experience listed in the beginning and the rest in chronological order.
- The format of this section should include the job role, the organisation’s name, the duration of the time you worked there.
- It is very important to bullet point your key responsibilities. This shows the employer your skills, experience, and capabilities.
- Don’t have any work experience? That’s ok, if you have voluntary experience, mention that in your work experience section. Make the most of any extracurricular activities you do or have taken part in. Stress your transferable skills and how they relate to the job you are applying for.
- Just like before in the work experience section, list your qualifications. Make sure your most recent qualification is at the beginning and the rest in chronological order.
- If you don’t have any work experience or very little put more emphasis on this section.
- The format should be the type of training or qualification you have achieved. The dates in which you undertook the qualification/training and the name of the place you gained your qualification.
- This is an opportunity to showcase yourself. Have you done something outstanding or accomplished something great at work, school or volunteering? Then be sure to mention it here.
- If you have trophies or certificates that you have achieved through hobbies or sports, put them down on your C.V. It shows your commitment and hard work.
Hobbies and Interests
- By putting down your hobbies and interests, you can stand out from the crowd and set your C.V apart from other candidates.
- This section allows you to show who you really are and let your personality shine through.
- Tailor your interest and hobbies so it applies to your skills and qualities.
- Your hobbies and interests may give you something to talk about at an interview.
Just Before You Go
You are almost there, but before you write up your C.V. There are still a few things to remember.
Be yourself and be truthful, don’t lie on your C.V. You could land yourself in trouble. The interviewer will do a background check and contact your references. They may catch you lying during your interview when they question you on the material in your C.V. Now, that would just be awkward and could lead to job offers being withdrawn.
Keep your C.V brief, two A4 sides is enough, stick to the key points and what is relevant. Don’t write a story in your personal statement, try to keep it to couple of sentences.
Presentation is everything, make sure you format your C.V so that it is easy to read. Ensure your grammar and spelling is correct. At the end of this article is resources to show you what a good C.V should look like and what a bad C.V looks like.
Now, this is a biggie, so make sure you remember this! It is important to tailor your C.V to make sure your skills, personal statement and experience match the job you are applying for. Make multiple C.V’s if you have to, each personalised for different industries you are applying for. For example, a retail C.V and construction C.V. Remember, always read the job profile and description and match your skills, qualities, experience and qualifications to that job.
You should now have a good idea on how to write up your C.V. We have even included a C.V template in the resources below to help you get started. However, if you are still unsure, we have comprised a list of the most common questions below in relation to C.V building.
Sent in my C.V. Does that now mean I have a job?
I hate to break it to you, but no. You may have written a killer C.V and showed you are the right candidate for the job. However, no manager that is hiring will give you a position in the company by just looking at your C.V. Don’t feel sad just yet, the role of the C.V is to win you the interview. Keep in mind that when you are writing and sending off C.V’s, the C.V alone won’t automatically guarantee you employment. However, a good C.V will get you to the next stage in the recruitment process…the interview! Don’t worry about the interview just yet, we have some great interview techniques for you to help you succeed.