The prime purpose of presenting a CV to a prospective employer is to generate an interest in you which leads to an interview which in turn can lead to a job offer.
Your CV first and foremost has to convey the following:
- That you have a range of skills and abilities appropriate to your area of expertise
- That you have the interest, motivation, energy and enthusiasm to perform any job or activity that you undertake
- That you are flexible and adaptable
- That you will work well with your colleagues, managers, subordinates and customers
- That you have future potential in terms of the impact you can make on any organisation
You can choose to present your information using two different types or styles of CV:
- The Chronological CV which lists all the positions you held by date beginning with the most recent and working back to include all the positions you held. The emphasis is generally placed on your more recent experience i.e. the last 5 - 7. The advantage of this style is that it is conventional and is what employers are used to seeing. The disadvantage is that employment gaps are obvious and it may be difficult to extract what your key skills and characteristics are
- The Functional CV is presented in terms of specific job function rather than in chronological order. The advantage for you is that you can group skills and experience gained from several positions under one job function so it is easier for an employer to assess if you are right for their job function. The disadvantage is that the style may be confusing in that it doesn't plot the career progression of the writer in a conventional way.
- A Mixture of Both. We recommend this type of cv layout for a number of reasons. The first page summarises who you are, what your skills are and also details your qualifications. The remainder of the cv provides the detail around where you gained your experience, job roles, responsibilities etc.. This layout also helps your cv stand out from the crowd and with the introduction of some graphics, can be quite compelling which is what you want the reader to note.
We can help you develop your cv in the format that you are most comfortable with and which portrays you at your best.
Your cv should contain the following information to give the reader a good overview of you - try not to include too much detail as you need to save something for your interview.
Personal Details: Name, address, home and mobile telephone numbers, and email address.
A Short Personal Profile: Your profile should be 3/4 sentences describing you, your work ethic, what you have to offer and what you are looking for.
Education/ Training: Overview of academic qualifications, where and when attended, and results if appropriate. You should also include any job specific training and development courses you attended as these demonstrate that you are interested in developing yourself and your career.
Work Experience: This should be presented in reverse chronological order with your most recent employer first. Include the company name, type of business, position(s) held. It is best not to detail what you did on a day to day basis, rather outline what your objectives were, what you achieved and most importantly what those achievements meant to the company.
Interests and Hobbies: Everyone has interests and hobbies outside of work - these show another side of your personality. Include those things that you are really passionate about.
References: References are available on request and you should have spoken with 2/3 referees before any interview to check their willingness to speak with a potential employer and give them a heads up that they may get a call. It is always best to think carefully about who you use as a reference as you want the person to give a fair and balanced account of you and your work and you don't want to compromise your current role.
Use plain font and use Bold to highlight a few specific areas and to make it more interesting. At first glance, the cv should look clean, uncluttered and crisp
Keep your CV short: between 2 / 3 pages. We would recommend that you send your cv in pdf format to any employer or agency - this guarantees that it won't be changed and it will maintain the formatting that you want.
You CV should be factually correct and you should be very familiar with every aspect of it. Check for spelling errors and have a friend check also.