Any HR recruiter will tell you that in a day, they could be reading hundreds of CVs for just one position. So how do you make your CV stand out from the rest? How can you get yours into that ‘Must interview’ pile? In this article, we will provide you with the basic measures you can take to ensure that your CV has that ‘wow’ factor and is considered a priority. Here’s your quick guide on how to write a proper CV/resume.
The most important information needed on your entire CV. If your contact details are nowhere to be found on your document, do not hold your breath waiting for them to hunt you down if they liked your CV. They’ll simply move onto the next person in the pile. So many missed opportunities are caused because of silly errors such as this. Your contact details should be the first thing seen on your CV – right at the top of the page and it should include the following:
- Full Address
- Telephone number (preferably home and mobile)
- Email address
- You do not need to add your date of birth.
You need to show that you are easily contactable as this can imply that you are also employable. If you are currently a student and you have a term-time and permanent address. Use the address that is nearest the location of the company you are applying to. For example, if your term-time address is Manchester, your parents address is in Birmingham and the new job role is in Warwick, you would be best to use your Birmingham address as it is the city closest to Warwick. Recruiters are far less likely to call if you live too far away and they have candidates who are just as experienced and closer.
Read the job description carefully. Look at what they are looking for in terms of desirable and essential skills from a candidate. Use these in your CV. Match the skills to certain hobbies, interests work experience you have gained thus far. It’s all relevant if it has a direct link to what they are looking for. This could even be as simple as specifying what software you have used to complete coursework at university.
Depending on the length of time that has passed since you graduated from university, and the amount of work experience you’ve had since then, the general rule is your qualifications should be on your CV. For recent graduates, most companies will specify in their job description the minimum grade requirements. Therefore it is imperative that you list them on you CV and don’t lie! They will be verified if you get through to an interview. Don’t think you will never get caught – CEO’s have been fired for lying about their qualifications. It is not necessary to list all of your qualifications – a summary will do just fine, especially for your GSCE’s where you could have taken anywhere between 7 and 14.
Don’t Use Generic Statements
For example, “I have excellent leadership skills”. Do you know how many candidates throw such vague statements into their CV or covering letter? No one will believe you unless you actually support it with evidence. Why do you have excellent leadership skills? How was this achieved? Give us an example.
If you have received awards for public speaking, is named one of top percentile students due to gaining the highest grades across all your peers, gained employee of the year in your part-time work experience, say it loud and say it proud. Recruiters love to read about your accomplishments as it speaks volumes about your character. So feel free to brag!
CV length & Layout
I’ll say it again, your CV should be two-pages maximum. You need to be skillful at being brief yet concise. When formatting your CV, unless you’re applying for an actors role, recruiters do not need to see a picture of you. If they request it however, then you can either insert it into your CV or attach it. Font used should be clear and easy to read, but there are more options that just Times New Roman. See previous article explaining how many pages a CV should be for a list of fonts that are favourable.
Follow these simple rules and you will know how to write a proper CV resume.