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How to write a your best ever CV

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Imagine you own a shop.

Now imagine that you want to attract potential customers to buy your products. What would you do? You would probably start by putting together your shop window. 

This shop window would display a selection of your goods. What you chose to display would be the best of what you had to offer, that demonstrated the variety of your products. You’d work hard to make sure that they were arranged in a way that was clear and attractive and put you above the competition in your street.

You wouldn’t dream of putting anything in the window that was damaged, wouldn’t be of interest to your customers, or was not something you actually sold. And you’d also be careful not to overload it with too much in case it became confusing or off-putting, because you knew that once your customers actually came in, they would be able to see the full range of what was on offer.

Once you were happy with your display, you’d do what you could to make sure the shop window was regularly refreshed and updated to show anything new. And you’d regularly clean the glass, tidy up and work hard to adapt it when you learned something new about what your customers wanted or appreciated seeing.

Now imagine you’re that shop, and the shop window is your CV - and translate what you’d do to your shop front into writing your most successful CV ever.

Include a variety of what you have to offer

  • Your skills, education, qualifications, previous experience and achievements are all important

Put yourself above the competition

  • Think about what makes you different - what can you bring to the role that no-one else can?

  • Demonstrate your personality via the language you use and how you describe yourself

Arrange the information in a way that’s clear and attractive

  • Keep it simple, choosing your font and layout carefully

  • Use headers, sub-headers and bullet points for relevant sections

  • Consider the use of bold, underlined or italic text to make it easy for employers to find what they’re looking for.

Don’t include the wrong things

  • Imagine you are the employer and write the CV for them, not you  

  • Be honest

  • Be relevant

  • Don’t include information that the potential employer doesn’t need to know

  • Check your spelling, grammar, key dates and information, then check it again!

Don’t overload it

  • Try to keep it to two sides of A4 at the most

  • Pay attention to your language - being overly descriptive and wordy will take up room and can be offputting. Keep it simple

  • Bear in mind that your next step should be an interview - and you will have the opportunity to expand upon what you include in the CV at that stage of the process

Regularly refresh and update

  • Try to make your CV as relevant to each new role you’re applying for as you can

  • Sending a CV that is clearly relevant to an old application will look unprofessional

  • Taking the job description as your starting point, look for key things the employer is looking for that you can demonstrate your experience or strength in

  • Take the time to make sure your contact details, references and other content is all up to date

Finally, remember we are here to help with your CV too - and indeed all steps in the process of your job search. Contact us to find out more.  


Melody Thompson

Published by Melody

about 5 years ago


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