ADVICE ON LANDING YOUR DREAM JOB
The Arthur Edward team has decades of experience in Recruitment, and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt, it’s that first impressions count. We’ve provided a round up of our best tips for your Curriculum Vitae, so yours will stand out and help you on your way to your dream job.
The diﬀerence between a good CV and a great CV can make or break your career.
Your CV is an essential tool in your job search as it’s usually the first contact a potential employer will have with you. A bad CV will be in the bin in a matter of seconds and there are no second chances.
HERE’S OUR 10-POINT CV CHECKLIST TO GET YOU STARTED:
LESS IS MORE
In the UK a CV should be 1 or 2 pages, maximum 3 if you have significant experience to include, but never more. You will have a chance to give more information once you secure an interview, but long CVs are never read.
If you have lots to say, use bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs, and leave oﬀ any unnecessary or repetitive details.
LOOK THE PART
Stick to Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri or Tahoma in 12pt. Don’t use italics, small or fancy fonts that may look pretty but strain the eyes.
Keep your CV clean with lots of white space and no tables. If you are looking for a creative role and want to include samples of your work, it is best to have a formal CV and attach your portfolio or a presentation.
BACK TO BASICS
Spelling or grammar errors make you look careless, lazy or ignorant – not the best first impression. Use spelling and grammar checks then check it twice yourself, and ask someone else to check it one final time before you send it out.
Double check dates, company names and job titles. Deal with any gaps or timings issues head on. People like to see a consistent career but if you made a wrong move or mis-step along the way acknowledge it, show what you learnt from it and move on.
Start your CV with a brief Objective, Personal Profile or Competency Statement. This section should lay out who you are and what you want, giving a feel for your personality, experience and skills.
After the initial section, start with your current job and list your previous roles in reverse order. Show your education at the end. The only exception to this rule is when applying for your first job, when your education is possibly more important.
SELL, SELL, SELL
If you don’t sell yourself no one else will. A CV is a marketing tool to sell a product – and that’s you. Your list of past roles is not just a timeline; it should show what you did, what you achieved and how you made a diﬀerence. Emphasise the positives and leave out the negatives, but never lie as it’s all too easy to get caught out.
Use keywords that matter for any future employer, in case they are scanning large numbers of CVs.
Be proud of who you are and highlight your strengths. Don’t claim to be a confident extrovert if you are not. In trying to be something you are not, you risk landing a job more suited to a diﬀerent personality, that you don’t enjoy and doesn’t last.
It’s not unusual to have a number of diﬀerent CVs. In fact we recommend your CV is written specifically for each job application. It might just take the odd tweak here or there, but aligning your CV to the role you’re considering is very important. Highlighting or emphasising diﬀerent skills, experiences or characteristics could make all the diﬀerence.
SELL, MAKE OR SAVE
Think about what a future employer wants to know. How did you make a diﬀerence in your previous roles? Did you make money for the company, or did you save them time or money? What did you or your team achieve?
Show what you can bring to the role, how you will cover the cost of your own employment, and how you will add value to the business.
SHOW YOUR SUCCESS
Make your successes tangible. Saying you made or increased profit is not enough, you need to back it up with figures showing growth, margins or value.
You mustn’t share confidential information or data of course, but think of other success indicators such as distribution growth, successful product launches, the number of accounts you managed etc.