A well-constructed curriculum vitae – also referred to as CV and, more recently Resume – is essential when seeking employment. You are in competition with many other candidates after the same job so your CV should have the necessary information the employer is seeking.
Organisations vary in their requirements as they can place importance on the team spirit, character, career history or qualifications.
The CV specialists recommend a few basic rules on how a CV should be written and what information to include.
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Bear in mind the CV is the tool to get you that interview. Therefore it should show your confidence, highlighting your achievements and strengths while making a good impression in a positive way. As a general rule the CV should be well formatted, typed and pleasing to the eye. It should be on only two pages.
The elementary format for a CV should include the following:
- Personal details – your name, at least one or all contactable detail address, phone number, email address) and any professional social media presence
- Profile – here you sell yourself by stating the skills and qualities you have that the employer needs
- Employment history – start with your recent or present job. Include any temporary or voluntary jobs
- Achievements – from previous jobs that are relevant
- Qualifications and training – start with the recent ones first. Mention any training in previous jobs
- Interests or hobbies – this is optional. The employer may like to see if you can fit in with the team/department or the culture in the company
- References – ideally two with contact details and include a recent employer
Any gaps in your career history should be explained eg travel or caring for a parent
You may have taken a course in order to prepare yourself for your career change then mention any subjects you undertook that you know they need. This shows you may not have the experience but you have the knowledge.
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It is massively important that there are no spelling errors so you should check and recheck again and again.
It is also very important that you tailor your CV to the requirements of the job advertised. This takes a little extra time but it can be well worth the while. Do not take one CV and send it to companies as their needs vary greatly and you will be giving them unnecessary information and they can then discard your CV without looking at page two.