1. Keep it simple. Remember that not everyone knows your speciality, so using easy to understand “lingo” will make the reader engage.
2. Use a basic format - Contact details (include an email address), Personal statement (who you are), Experience (past work experience), Education (institutions you studied at), Key Achievements (why you are best for the job), Hobbies and interests (a little bit about personal life), References (can write available on request).
3. Font consistency is crucial. Choose a font that will make the reader want to carry on reading your CV. Use bullet points and keep your sentences short.
4. Key achievements. It is important to add your main accomplishments. It gives the reader a sense of how you think “outside of the box”. On top of which, this explains why you are best for the job.
5. Don’t leave gaps. Too many gaps give an indication that you are not settled in your career and because the reader doesn’t know you, they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt.
6. Update your CV even if you are not looking for another job. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it so you don't later forget something that could be important. Update a master CV, no matter how long it may be.
7. Customise it. Why customise your CV? If you have years of experience in an industry or many industries, your CV becomes cluttered. Tailor your CV to adapt to the position you are applying for without lying. By emphasising your key strengths that are relevant to the role, you have a better chance of being shortlisted.
8. Keywords – Some hiring managers and recruiters use computer programs known as Applicant Tracking Systems (APS). Keywords matter when they're looking to hire a candidate in a specialist role, whether it is a qualification or niche industry. These programs gauge the content of your CV, and if you meet the criteria, your CV will show up in the search results.
9. Words to avoid. Phrases such as 'various contracts', etc. are too vague and do not tell the reader about your career path. You could be missing out on relevant keywords that would allow your CV to come up on searches. Instead, you should use the name of each company you have worked for, include the title of each job role, and how long you worked at each role. Also, we recommend that rather then highlighting your job duties, you should be highlighting your achievements.
10. Add your nationality and your right to work in the UK if you from a non-EU country. i.e.: Mauritian (spouse visa). If you require sponsorship, state this on your CV.
11. List your software packages experience (going back to point 8 on keywords)
12. Add the company's industry, under each company you have worked for. It helps the reader quickly identify whether you have previously worked in a similar industry to theirs.
Check out our regular blog posts where you can find even more job advice. Find out about issues such as empowerment in the workplace, how to look for a job on social media, and much more!
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