Top tips | The perfect CV REVEALED

The perfect CV REVEALED

Long before candidates are invited to come and meet a recruiter, or given the chance to tour an office, they have just one means of communication with which to convince a company or recruiter that they are the right person for the job – the CV.

Whilst some see the CV as a redundant format, it is still very much the generally accepted first point of contact within a recruitment drive and therefore, ensuring that yours is up to scratch and outstanding may well be the difference between being invited to discuss the role, and never hearing back.

It’s likely that this extreme pressure put on the construction of the CV is the reason that just 15% of UK adults feel confident when writing and submitting one for a job role. For this reason, CV-Library recently outlined five essential tips and tricks for ensuring that your CV is a success:

1. CV templates

Coming up with a design for your CV from scratch can require expert Microsoft Word skills. If you don’t feel confident designing your own CV template, there are plenty available, either on Microsoft Word or online.

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Although CVs designed to imitate company packaging and cereal boxes have been making headlines recently, it is important to remember the purpose of a CV is to show off your skills and experience, so a clean, simple template is best. 

2. Typeface and formatting 

How your CV looks is important; if it looks messy or is confusing to read then there is little chance it’ll get a second look, regardless of your experience. To avoid the most common mistakes, follow these simple rules: 

  • Typefaces

Shy away from funky fonts, stick with Arial, Courier or Tahoma. Remember you want an employer to be able to read your CV so don’t make the font too small – 11pt is a good start.   

  • Colours

Just stick to black. Using multiple colours for text can get confusing.

  • Formats

Word documents are the best choice for presenting your CV, as text on a .pdf file isn’t always compatible with recruitment software. Don’t forget to name your CV file professionally using your first and last name when you save it.

3. Personal details

It may sound obvious but if a recruiter doesn’t know how to contact you, your chances of getting an interview are almost impossible. While you shouldn’t disclose all your personal details, your full name, up to date phone number, address and email are expected.

If you’re looking for jobs away from home, use your personal statement to explain you’re happy to relocate, or if seeking jobs in the UK from abroad, confirm you have the right to work in the UK. 

4. Spell check

A CV that has grammar and spelling mistakes is not going to get you very far, regardless of how experienced you are for the role. To overcome this, ensure you get someone else to double-check your CV for spelling mistakes and that it reads well. There are also lots of automatic checkers available, such as ValueMyCV.

5. Keep it short and sweet

A good CV shouldn’t be any longer than two sides of A4 and often one side of A4 is enough. Any longer and you are going to lose the attention of whoever is reading it. 

To reduce the word count, ensure you have only included relevant experience that showcases your relevant skills for the desired role. If you’re going over the two-page limit, don’t be tempted to shrink your font or spacing as this will likely make your CV hard to read. Instead, review any areas that can be condensed and make sure you’re only including your most relevant and up-to-date experience.

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