Showcase the best you
Your CV is an opportunity to showcase your skills and your personality to someone who has a vested interest in you. Our candidates frequently ask us questions like, how long should my CV be? Should I include hobbies? Should I say what my unique selling points are?
We see CVs of all shapes and sizes. Some are fitted neatly on to a page, some are just crammed on to a page. Others stretch for pages, every job title, course undertaken and qualification explained in impressive detail.
However, most are somewhere in between.
So what’s best?
According to a survey of leading businesses, definitely stick to no more than two neat, concise pages. Don’t try and cram together though. If there really isn’t enough room and you can’t edit it down, then don’t feel too bad about stretching it to three. After all three sides of easy-to-read copy is better than two pages full of text.
What should be on my CV?
Quite simply put – Your experiences. Your experiences are determined when a candidate outlines their “responsibilities” and “achievements”. Experience rates as more important than education, with a huge proportion of employers preferring to read the experience section first. As for hobbies and interests, well most employers are neutral on this, however be sensible. It is important to note that the initial screening decisions are based principally on experience – but also on accuracy and style.
Tip: Employers find the following areas important
- Professional Summary
- Hobbies & Interests
- Cover letters
- Current company summary
- Explanation of any gaps in employment
Tip: Employers find the following areas not so important
- Reference Details
- Current salary
CV Style & Quality – Here are some interesting statistics
Employers find the following CV Style & Quality negative
- Creative use of fonts
- Creative use of colours
- Creative use of images/graphics
- Career description in detailed paragraphs
- Suspect Spelling & Grammar
- Large number of jobs
- Use of jargon
- CV received in a format other than MS Word
- CVs written in 3rd format
Humorously a client recently told us they had received a CV with a tea bag attached to it, advising that they could have a cup of tea whilst reading it! Also pictures of aeroplanes depicting a high flyer and family photographs are also worth avoiding!
Remember to lay your CV out clearly and logically. Be honest, accurate and able to talk confidently through any point on your CV. Tailor your CV to emphasise skills and experiences that match the role you’re applying for.
Keep your CV up to date – New experiences, skills and qualifications will improve your value to future employers.
Remember that employers strongly believe that a CV should include a mix of responsibilities and achievements, with an appropriate balance. One or the other is not good enough for most companies.
To summarise if you follow our 6 point plan, you won’t go far wrong.
- Name, address & full contact details
- Professional Summary including your Key Skills
- Professional Experience (Most Recent First)
- Your Education
- Your professional or specialist qualifications
- Hobbies/Personal Interests
Should you have any questions regarding your CV, we will be extremely happy to advise you further.