How to write a CV
A well-presented CV is vital in your search for a new job. It will not get you the job (your talents and abilities will hopefully do that), but a good CV can make the difference between getting an interview or your application being thrown in the bin. With your CV being one of many, employers will only read it for a short space of time, so it is extremely important that it is structured clearly, with your best selling points presented in a logical manner and the most relevant information readily identifiable.
Everybody writes and presents their CV as they like, there is no right or wrong way. However, with these words of advice we will help you produce a clear and concise CV that will increase your chances of being invited for an interview.
Good CV's are logical, clear, concise and simple with sentences including short, to the point key words and statements. It is best to leave out words, such as, 'and' and 'I' as much as you can and make each sentence as meaningful as possible. An effective CV needs to focus the readers' attention on the criteria that they are looking for, highlighting important information that can be accessed and interpreted easily. Try to match yourself with the criteria they are looking for.
You may also be asked to justify and elaborate certain statements that you have made in your CV if you are invited to an interview, so you should be honest and accurate all the way through. Be careful not to over-exaggerate, however, always remain positive! Accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar are vital, as well as the overall layout and format of the CV.
Structure & Presentation
First impressions are very important! Each section needs to be headed clearly so that it is well presented, orderly and pleasing to look at, to avoid any discouragement to read on. Your skills, experience and achievements must flow in a logical manner detailing all key points. Any dates should be included where applicable and placed in reverse chronological order i.e. latest job first, working backwards to your first job. TWO OR THREE pages is the standard length of a good CV. DO NOT let your CV run any longer than an absolute maximum of 4 pages. CV’s over 4 pages are almost always viewed as wasteful and instantly discarded.
Once a layout and structure is decided on, you should stick to it using consistent headings and sub-headings as well as a STANDARD FONT SIZE AND TYPE. In general, Verdanna or Arial (or a modern type face) and size 9/10 is the norm but the use of bold or different size fonts can highlight important information and point the reader to the relevant areas! All text should be fully justified so the paragraphs look neat and tidy and there should be a balance between text and space. Bullet points are useful to break up text; black lines can be used to emphasize headings.
Personal Details Need To Include
Name, Date of Birth, Your Address, Home telephone, Mobile telephone, Email address, Nationality. Married or single (you do not need weight, height, religion, inside leg measurement etc)
Education And Qualifications:
With the date of when you took them on the left hand side, list the schools/universities you attended, the full title of your degree and any significant exam results.
Professional Qualifications & Courses
This should include any RECENT & RELEVENT courses or qualifications you have taken. Do not list anything that is not relevant to the job you are applying for, or something that is very out of date.
On the left hand side put the dates that you were at a particular company. This should include the month you started/finished. Then list the company you worked for and the job title you had UNDERNEATH the company name. You should then write a brief description of that the company does (do not assume that people are aware of the company you are working for) and include a link to their website. Underneath this you should then present your job duties in ‘bullet’ form, that is, in a clear, logical sentence, one after another for example:
Formulate and ensure HR policy and system is implemented in line with corporate policies and market practices and compliance with local municipal and state labour regulations. Keep track with changes in our corporate policies, market practice and labour regulations. Advise the management of the changes and revise the HR policy when necessary.
Work on organizational and manpower development plan to support a high growth and dynamic business.
Responsible for recruiting high calibre candidates to support the business’s staffing plan and growth agenda.
It is important that what you say is relevant and detailed in short, bullet-pointed statements. Make clear what your individual contribution was using positive language and include your responsibilities and achievements. Back everything up with quantifiable facts, such as size of budgets and results achieved, to make your skills tangible.
Under each job you should then list your achievements. Think carefully about which examples you include in this section, as employers may deduce a lot from your choice about your motivations and what you regard as important.
This section on hobbies and interests should be kept short and include information, such as, membership of and positions of responsibility in sports teams, drama societies etc. Any information should have a purpose, showing skills relevant to the role you are applying for and saying something of interest about you.
Unless requested, references need not be given at the initial application stage and a simple "references available on request" should suffice. Employers will ask for references if and when they need them.