How to write an interview winning CV
This is part 2 of my CV series you can read the 1st post what is a Curriculum Vitae or continue reading here if you want to know how to write a really good CV.
During the recruitment process employers receive hundreds of CV’s from people like you all looking to get an interview. It’s impossible for HR or managers to go through each and every CV with fine detail. Employers will spend a max of 20 – 30 seconds scanning your CV to see if you match the job specification.
How to keep your CV in the hands of an employer and not in the bin.
In short you need a clear simple easy to read Curriculum Vitae. Let’s talk about the ideal CV layout to help you achieve this.
Your contact information is always the 1st thing that appears on a CV and should contain your full name, telephone or mobile. Your mobile number is recommended in case your not at home. Address is next so you can be contacted and sent essential documents if you’re successful in your interview. You should also include your email address for the same reason and it’s best to have a professional looking email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any online portfolios you should also add your website url so recruiters can see your online work.
The personal summary section is one of the most important parts of a CV it’s where you have your 5 seconds of fame in front of the employer.
It’s here you create your interview winning CV
Use this section wisely and don’t abuse it with keywords you think they want to see. They have seen it all don’t make it the hundredth time today. Introduce yourself and I don’t mean tell them your name again. Tell them what you do, what you’re good at.
Show your experience, tell the person reading your CV a brief history of your relevant work experience, it’s here you can say a few clichés such as good team player or hard worker but don’t stop there give an example why you’re a good team player and how you stayed late to meet deadlines.
The examples you give will prove your experience and show you know what you doing, a good personal summary will make an employer read on especially if your ticking his or her boxes already. Carry on mentioning relevant job experience in employment history.
You need to show an employer you have real world work experience. All you need here is your Job title, Location, company name, start date, end date and a description of what you did in your day to day job.
Maybe this should of been said earlier but you shouldn’t lie on your CV ever (so go and correct your personal summary ) your employer might not find out but if they do that could be your P45 handed to you before lunch time.
The job description shouldn’t be a boring list of I did this, I did that. Also your job tasks could be a lot it’s best to pick out the best bits that relate directly with the job you are applying for. So instead of saying you helped sell product X. Say I increased sales of product X by 100% doing this and that. This will interest a recruiter a lot if you’re going for a marketing/sales role. Because you’re showing how well you did and what you did to do it.
If you have more than one job to write about you should list the latest job 1st on your CV then the rest in chronological order. I recommend listing only 3 jobs it allows you to write a decent descriptive job description and keep your CV to 1 – 2 pages if you don’t write an essay. My CV creator only allows you to have a maximum of 3 jobs and the same for the education and qualification section.
If you haven’t worked yet you can list work experience you have done at school, college or any activities you do in your spare time that will show the employer you have the experience or knowledge that they are looking for. A good one to add is being a team player as you will have many examples of working in a team.
Also avoid any gaps in your employment history, if you have been round the world traveling or have spent awhile hunting for a job you should say that in your CV.
Education and qualifications
List your qualifications in chronological order with what you studied, the location where you studied and what qualifications you gained. You can also write a brief description about your course and highlight anything that is relevant to the job you are applying for.
As you get older your school qualifications become less important and less relevant so if it’s been 5 years since school there is no point listing every subject you took and what grade you got for each one. it’s fine to just say you achieved 10 GCSE’s This also helps to keep your CV shorter so you can write more in your employment history which is far more important.
Hobbies & interests is not essential and is optional to include, it’s really only useful if you have just left school or college and haven’t gained much job experience. You can use this section to tell the employer the activities you enjoy doing in your spare time. This helps them get an idea of the type of person you are and your personality. Try to write about activities that show off your strengths and interests especially if you don’t have any relevant work experience. Don’t list more than 5 activities and be aware how your hobbies and interests may be perceived by others.
I don’t include any references on my CV because pretty much all the jobs I have applied for didn’t ask for them but if they do ask for references while applying for the job you should add some. I recommend adding 2 recent references such as past employers or if you have just left school or college you can add your Teacher or teachers as a reference. You should include the name, address, telephone number and an email address for your references.
That should help you and give you some ideas on how to write an interview winning curriculum vitae, Part 3 will be how to create a CV in word 2013. Let me know your thoughts if this helped you, don’t forget to share.