Your CV is the most important tool in your arsenal so if is vitally important that you know how to construct one properly. Having a properly constructed CV could be your best chance of securing an interview. Below we have listed the best ways to create a stand out CV by following a particular format as well as what to include/exclude from your CV.

  • Ideally your CV should be 2-3 pages long depending on your experience and skills. Remember that recruiters do not have the time to scroll through endless pages of your work history, qualifications and training.

  • Your CV should start with a summary of you and your knowledge eg: ‘An experienced IT engineer with over 25 years from working within the Telecoms Industry’. Please avoid generic words like eg: ‘team leader’ ‘people person’ and ‘works well in team setting’. This experience can be added and expanded further down in the body of your CV with your achievements.

  • List your career history in chronological order- reverse date order-most recent first

  • Every CV, like your covering letter must be tailored to meet the required skills and competencies for that job. Therefore only include skills and your experiences that are relevant in the job description, leave out all the rest if it does not add value.

  • If the job requires specific skills and knowledge be sure to highlight those skills first to catch the recruiters’ attention. It will also help for the recruiter to see the most important aspects first without scrolling through.

  • Remember to leave out irrelevant information like marital status, place of birth, religion or children.

  • You will need to be able to remember key dates and highlights from your CV as these will form the basis for the interviewers’ questions.

  • Always bear in mind that any gaps in employment history may need to be explained in the interview.

  • Just stating your previous job positions and responsibilities held is never enough on its own. You must expand upon them to show how well you can work and what you have managed to achieve in that time. List the achievements and the benefits you brought to that company. Eg ‘after installing the new database, efficiency improved by 25%, saving the firm £60,000 over the year’.

  • Always talk about your skills and achievement in the present tense.

  • Be sure to highlight key parts of your CV so they are noticeable to any recruiter.

  • Any hobbies that you state must only be relevant to the position applied for, the recruiter does not want to know that you are a ‘fishing champion’ or ‘extreme snowboarder’.

  • If you are studying for a relevant qualification that may help your application then say so.

  • Take the time to review your CV, if it helps then ask a friend to look over it objectively, to be sure you haven’t missed out any important information.

  • Always use a good quality white paper to print your CV and avoid coloured paper.

  • Check and re-check for spelling mistakes.

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