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3 Things to Remember when Writing a CV

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Added: 29 May 2014

According to Labour Market Statistics from January 2014, the unemployment level has dropped by 7.1%. Fantastic news. However jobs that require certain qualifications and skills are still very in demand.

For job seekers, the UK is still a hugely competitive place when it comes to the employment market.

A mediocre CV will not be sufficient.

Later we’ll discuss the details that will make a CV stand out in a stack of similar documents. But first, let’s discuss the standard information that needs to be shown on a CV.

What to put on a CV

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is used to give companies a snapshot of a candidate for the job vacancy at hand. It needs to tell employers who the candidate is and why the employer should take time out of their schedule to sit down with the job seeker for an interview.

Generally a CV should include:

  • Personal Details such as name, address, age etc.
  • Contact details - essential if an employer wants to offer the job to a candidate.
  • Work experience
  • Relevant skills
  • Interests

All of these sections contain the information that an employer will use to decide whether or not a job seeker should be given an interview or not.

Making a CV Shine

Unfortunately, many employers don’t relish the thought of reading through a pile of these snapshots. The fact that Curriculum Vitaes have a lot of the same information on them makes reading a large amount tedious for the employer.

Fortunately, there are several ways to remedy this and make a CV shine.

1 - Pay Attention to the Appearance of your CV

Just because the sections of information tend to be the same on each CV, it doesn’t mean that they have to be presented in the same way.

Using simple tools like text boxes and tables can make a CV stand out from the pile whilst also highlighting the key parts of what would otherwise be a sea of text.

Tailor-made styling of the CV (fonts, images, layout)  to match the company will get candidates noticed for all the right reasons. Even something as simple as incorporating the company logo colours within the CV could show the kind of attention to detail that employers are looking for.

Warning: Going overboard with gimmicks and jumbling information up just to make the CV look ‘different’ is not going to work. The information still has to be organised, concise and easy to follow.

2 - Don’t include anything that isn’t relevant to the position being applied for

Some candidates are mistaken in thinking that because they don’t have extensive work experience pertaining to the position advertised, they should list all of their work experience to date.

This is a mistake.

Rather than list irrelevant information, take the time to elaborate on relevant skills, experiences and interests. Explain not only what your skills are but why they would be a benefit to the company. Employers will be able to see that you understand the role and what’s needed to be successful in it.

3 - Research the Company and Position

Employers see the same generic CV’s all the time. The candidate that will undoubtedly stand out to them is one that seems to know exactly what the company wants and needs. That person will be able to settle into the role quickly and be more likely to stay there.

Researching a company thoroughly can save time for all parties concerned. Look at not only what they do as a business but their policies as well. If you share the same values and ethics, the chances are you’d love to work there. And they’d love to have you!

Make sure you list everything that attracts you to the company in your CV under the appropriate section. For example, if a company goes out of its way to make environmentally friendly decisions and you also feel strongly about this, list your passion for green living in the interests section of your CV. Show them exactly why you’re a perfect fit for the company as well as the job.

Conclusion

In truth, there is no magic formula for how to write the perfect CV. But if candidates can always remember to think about what the employer’s needs are and how they can fulfill them then they’re far more likely to write an excellent CV.

Anyone applying for a position via a recruitment agency will find the whole process easier as the agency consultants will have made it their job to understand the needs of the company. They can always offer help, advice and often even inside information that will help candidates to write the perfect CV for the role.

Tell us…

Do you have much success with writing your CV or is there one part that you always struggle with? Let us know.

Remember:

Our consultants research the companies and find out all the information you need to make it easier for you to make your CV shine.

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