Steps to create a successful CV

Your CV is a very important part of the recruitment process. It gives employers insight into who you are and who you would be as an employee. It is a great opportunity to catch the eye of the recruiter and get them interested in you so you can land that interview! So, how would you capture their attention and make sure that your CV stands out from the others? Follow these tips to ensure yours is the top pick out of the rest.

First of all you will need to check that you have at least the following sections. Use the checklist below as a guideline.

Personal details - Your name, address, phone number, email address and any other details you think would be relevant

Skills - List brief details of your academic and professional qualifications along with the grades attained. Also you may want to include any transferrable skills picked up from previous jobs.

Education - Include specific skills such as IT packages or languages and state whether you're at a basic, intermediate or advanced level.
Work experience - List the most recent experience first, continuing in reverse chronological order. Describe your work experience in short sentences using straightforward, positive language and highlight your key achievements.

Work experience - List the most recent experience first, continuing in reverse chronological order. Describe your work experience in short sentences using straightforward, positive language and highlight your key achievements.

Hobbies - If your skills haven't already persuaded recruiters to offer you an interview, the fact that you enjoy a round of golf won't change their mind. However, hobbies will give the interviewer a more rounded picture and are evidence of self-motivation and commitment.

References - It's not necessary to note the details of your referees on your CV, but you should state that details of references are available on request. If this is your first job, it is a good idea to nominate tutors or mentors. Do not forget to ask your referees first for permission to cite them.

Now that you have completed the above checklist, here are some other things to take into consideration.

1. Keep it short and sweet
Well not too short. The average CV should be between one- two sides of A4 paper.
2. Keep it relevant
Make sure that your CV is tailored to meet the needs of the particular company and job role you are applying for.
3. Include a good covering letter
Don’t assume a recruiter will see the connection between your experience and the job: use your covering letter to tie your work history to the specific company and role.
4. Don't leave any gaps
Gaps make recruiters suspicious – if they spot something’s missing, they’re unlikely to give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of work, put a positive spin on it - did you develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management, for example?
5. Edit and use spell check
Editing your CV can help you to whittle out irrelevant information that may not be applicable to the job you are applying for. Make sure you also spell check you CV and get a friend to proof read it for you as well.
6. Be honest!
You will most likely get caught if you lie. Most recruiters can sniff out a lie, if not in the application stage then in the interview stage. It’s just not worth it.
7. Include interesting information about yourself
Back up your achievements with numbers and examples. When writing your work history, don’t just tell the recruiter you increased sales; tell them you increased sales by 70% over a six month period.
8. Make it look presentable
No one wants to read a crowded CV, so spend some time formatting your CV. It will pay off and make a recruiter more likely to want to read your CV out of all the others.

Now with your CV done you are ready to write your covering letter and apply for jobs.

Good luck!

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