When writing or editing a CV you should always remember this is your first impression. If your CV does not effectively sell you, your chances of being invited to an interview are dramatically reduced.
Points to remember
Consider what you want your CV to say about you. What are your strengths? Why would you make a good employee? If you are looking to secure a particular type of role, make sure this is reflected.
Your CV must be clear and easy to read.
- Structure your CV logically (see example below).
- Only use white A4 paper with black print.
- Closely proof-read, checking spelling and grammar.
- Remember to use spacing.
- Consider the font. Arial is one of the clearest. Courier and Comic Sans are some of the worst.
Make sure your CV contains enough energy and information to generate a reader's interest, without it becoming too wordy, or too long. Be positive and represent ALL your relevant skills and experience, consistently focusing on achievements.
Every role is at least slightly different, placing emphasis on specific skills and experience required. Closely read the job specification and craft your experience to make it the best possible match. For example, if you're applying for an IT job in Java, your experience in that area needs to stand out throughout the CV.
Never lie about the facts. But if you have the experience an employer is seeking and you can promote it to appear more prominent, you absolutely should. Similarly, if you can elevate relevant skills and experience for a role, this will make it easier for a hiring manager to identify your suitability.
This can all be a very time consuming process, especially if you're applying for a large number of jobs. However, the truth is that no other single thing will result in more interviews. A hiring manager reading through a large number of CVs will be used to quickly scanning and your CV will rarely have more than 30 seconds to make an impact.
If the job is one to which you are strongly drawn, invest the time to give yourself the best possible chance.
The template below shows one way of structuring a CV, helping employers view your skills and experience quickly and clearly.
For more advice, head over to our Candidate Advice section.