Whether you are looking for a first graduate position, or moving up to the next step on your career ladder, making the right first impression is important when it comes to winning over potential employers. Your Curriculum Vitae is the first thing a recruiter will see, so it needs to be polished, succinct, relevant and up to date. The aim of the CV is to give the recruiter enough information to want to bring you in for an interview to find out more.
We have put together some essential tips for writing a stand-out CV.
A CV is not a chance to share your entire life history with a potential employer. It is an overview of your most relevant experience and qualifications, to showcase why you are the right person for a particular role. Simple is best; there is little point having a flashy layout, as it can detract from the information, so choose a readable font, clear spacing and obvious sections.
Your CV should be tailored to the job role you are going for. This means that it needs to be up to date. Get into the habit of updating your CV whenever you have something new to add so that it remains current. Only include information that is relevant to your industry and the kind of company you hope to work for.
Check it thoroughly
Always proofread your CV thoroughly. Although this is very simple, we see a lot of typos in candidate CVs. You don’t want to have spelling mistakes or basic grammatical errors, as this looks unprofessional. It doesn’t take long to run a spell check and give everything a read through. Mistakes are easy when you have looked at a document for a long time so grab a friend to help. A second pair of eyes might spot things that you don’t.
What to include
Personal information should always be at the top and easy to find, which includes contact details and relevant (not personal) social profiles. A short personal statement helps to build a picture of who you are as a candidate, but keep it brief. For IT roles, your specific skills are important, so make sure you are clear which technologies you are experienced with and how long you have been working with them – be honest though, as exaggerating a skill set will always catch up with you. Employment should then be listed in chronological order, with a brief overview of your role and contribution, with dates of employment. Education and qualifications should also start with the most recent and most relevant – the fact you have a GCSE in French probably won’t determine whether you will land a high-level tech position.