10 top tips to have a Professional CV

The UK Government recently released statistics that there are almost 3 million unemployed in the UK.  Most of which have never had any form of CV help or interview skills training.  My company offers those exact services,  so I will be publishing a free weekly blog to give people hints and tips on how to stay one step ahead of the competition in today’s difficult market.  The market is top heavy with good quality candidates at the moment, and there aren’t that many good jobs available. Therefore it is vital that you are fully prepared when designing your CV,  and attending that all important job interview.

I see CV’s every day of my life and I can tell you that almost all CV’s, (yes almost all CV’s that I see!!), need some form of alteration.  So I’m going to give you some great tips on how to make your CV eye catching, neat, tidy, and above all professional.

Here are my 10 top tips when writing your CV:

  1. Don’t put CV or Curriculum Vitae at the top!  An employer knows what it is, you don’t need to take up valuable space by stating the obvious.
  2. Keep the font universal.  Don’t have different kinds or sizes of fonts on different parts of the CV, it must look fluid.
  3. Don’t make it too long! – A possible future employer normally loses interest or stops reading at about a page and a half so 2 try and keep it to around 2 pages, 3 at an absolute most.
  4. Try and stay away from tables, (unless you’re a Word expert).  Just keep it simple.  No need to complicate things, It just needs to be clear and concise.
  5. You also don’t need to put headings like: Name, Address, D.O.B etc. Again it’s obvious what all of those look like,  so avoid putting them on, (more waste of valuable space).
  6. You don’t need to put anything about your D.O.B or marital status.  You don’t have to put anything about children or living arrangements as an employer is not allowed to ask you those type of questions – They are not relevant to whether or not you can do the job.
  7. Don’t try and be flash with colours and designs, again keep it very simple.  Your CV is a snapshot of what you are going to talk about at the interview.  You need to put enough quality information on your CV to get the employer interested without waffling on and losing their interest.
  8. Stay away from block text, use bullets when detailing information about previous jobs, or education.  Block text looks awful and is an immediate turn off for an employer.
  9. Keep it relevant.  Talk about the stuff that is really important like education, employment history.  Build a strong profile of yourself at the start of the CV,  but make it your own.  Don’t just write what you see on 8 out of 10 CV’s like “I’m hard working, reliable, can work as a team or on my own initiative…….blah blah blah.  It needs to be factual and it needs to come from you, so dig deep, make it interesting,  and highlight your successes.  Employers want to know where you have previously done well, been a high achiever, been promoted,  or made a fantastic sale.
  10. Make sure you tailor your CV to the position you are appling for. If you’re applying for a job in telesales, don’t say you want to work in retail on your CV!  Also have a strong covering letter, again specific to the role you’re applying for.  You could probably have 3 Cv’s and 3 covering letters and just tweak the relevant one for each application.
  11. I know I said there were 10 tips but here is an extra bonus one:  SPELLCHECK your CV!  You would not believe the amount of CV’s I see with poor grammar and spelling.  They will go straight in the shred pile unless they are presented well, maybe even ask a friend to proof read your CV before you start sending it out.

Your CV is that all important first impression to a future employer.  It is VITAL that you get it right.  If you have a CV and are not sure if it is up to scratch, or you’re not getting as many interviews as you’d like, have a look at our  CV Tidy where we can aid you to have a professional CV.

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