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CV TIPS AND TRICKS

Helping you stand out from the crowd

Writing a CV can be stressful but we are here to remind you that you are not alone!


Here are some basic guidelines to help you write the perfect CV. 


What information should I include on my CV?


Whilst there is no ‘Right way’ to write a CV, they need to be informative and short enough for recruiters to scan.  


To simplify we recommend the following order:


1. Personal details:

You’d be surprised how many people forget to include their name, email, contact phone number and address. Make sure these are presented at the top of your CV, ideally in the ‘header’ section of a word document.


2. Personal statement

As it’s the first thing that’s shown on your CV- aside from your details- a personal statement is a vital part of standing out. It explains who you are, your work background, what you’re offering, and what you’re looking for. We highly recommend tailoring a short paragraph to the specific role you’re applying for, make sure to include the key strengths and experience the employer is looking for.


3. Work experience:

List all your relevant work experience, starting with the most recent and working your way down in chronological order. Make sure to include your job title, name of the organisation, time in the role, and bullet point your key responsibilities.


4. Achievements:

This is your chance to shine and show how your previous experience has given you the skills that make you a suitable candidate. List all of your relevant skills and achievements (backing them up with examples), and make it clear how you would apply these to the new role.


5. Hobbies and interests: 

You are not obligated to include hobbies and interests in your CV, but mentioning things that support your skills will help you stand out. It’s also a good way of having something additional to talk about at an interview. Remember, if it’s not going to add value, leave it out.


6. Education:

Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved – although the specific parts of education that you include in your CV will depend on your situation. We recommend starting with your most recent form of education and working backwards. Place more emphasis on this section if you have more educational achievements than work experience.


What words should I include in my CV?

Figuring out what words to use on your CV can be daunting– especially when you are trying to fit a lot of skills and experience into a short document.


In addition to using the right words, you should also back up your attributes with genuine accomplishments. Showing you can prove your suitability for the desired role.


Keywords for your CV can include:

  • Accurate

  • Adaptable

  • Confident

  • Hard-working

  • Innovative

  • Pro-active

  • Reliable

  • Responsible


Try to avoid using overly common phrases/words unless they are included in the job description. Whilst there are no ‘bad words’, common phrases can leave you lost amongst a sea of similar candidates.


Although everyone has their pet peeves, here are a few of the most common CV words:

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Goal-driven

  • Flexible

  • Motivated

  • Multi-tasker

  • Independent

  • Detail-oriented

  • Self-motivated


How should I present my CV?

Your CV is the first thing an employer will see when hiring. How it looks at first glance will be why they decide to read more in detail. Even if your skills match the role perfectly, a messy and confusing CV probably won’t get a second look.


To ensure you’re painting yourself in the best light, you should:

  • Keep it short – aim for two sides of A4.

  • Choose a clear, professional font to ensure your CV is easy to read

  • Lay it out in a logical order, with sufficient spacing and clear section headings (e.g. Work experience, Education)

  • Order your experience and education in reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent experience and achievements

  • Check your grammar and spelling thoroughly- try running it through a grammar checker such as ‘Grammarly’


Conclusion

Once you’ve put together your CV – don’t assume it’s finished. Make sure you modify your CV to fit the job description whenever you make an application, this allows you to ensure it matches the specifications every time.


Highlight that you’re the right match for the job by outlining:

  • The specific skills you have to offer the employer

  • Relevant accomplishments and achievements

  • The work and educational experience you have in their field

  • Personal qualities that will make you right for the role

  • An understanding of the job requirements 


Need more CV advice?

Contact Julia Barrington at Recruitment Solutions at 01844 213 999. Alternatively you can email her at Julia@rsrecruit.co.uk