Before we go in-depth about building your perfect CV, let us quickly go and discuss what a CV is and how long a CV should be?
A CV, which is an abbreviation of curriculum vitae, is a document which is used to apply for jobs. It allows you to outline your education, skills and experience, enabling you to sell yourself to employers successfully. A typical CV in the UK should be no longer than two sides of an A4. To establish the preferred two pages, CV only include the critical points of your education and experience. To save space, don’t repeat the information you provided in your cover letter and only include relevant information.
If your CV is just a page and you are a recent graduate. Don’t worry, and it is normal for a recent graduate to have a CV up to one page, so don’t get discouraged and demotivate yourself instead try applying for more jobs. In Graduate market 2019 report released by High Fliers Research, it stated that Graduate recruitment at the country’s leading employers is expected to rise substantially in 2019, with employers in eleven out of fifteen key industries and business sectors planning to recruit more new graduates this year.
What does a CV contain?
Contact Details – Include your full name, LinkedIn, home address, phone number and email address. It is not necessary to include your date of birth or a photograph unless you’re applying for an acting or modelling job.
Profile – Placed at the beginning of the CV, a pattern is an incisive statement that highlights your key attributes and reasons for deciding to work in a particular field. Mention a few relevant achievements and skills while articulating your career aims. It must focus on the industry you are applying to, as your cover letter will be job-specific. You should keep it short and snappy – 100 words is the perfect length. Discover how to write a personal statement for your CV.
Education – List and date all previous education, including professional qualifications, placing the most recent first. Include individual modules where relevant.
Work Experience – List your experience in reverse chronological order, making sure that anything you mention is relevant to the job you applied. If you have sufficient relevant work experience, this section should come before education.
Skills and Achievements – This is where you talk about the foreign languages you speak and the IT packages you can competently use, whatever you list should be relevant to the job and not exaggerated, as you’ll need to back up your claims at interview.
Interests – Simply writing ‘socialising, going to the cinema and reading’ isn’t going to catch the attention of the recruiter. However, when relevant to the job, your interests can provide a more rounded picture of who you are and give you something to talk about at interview. Examples include writing your blog if you want to be a journalist, or being part of a drama group if you’re looking to get into sales.
References – You don’t need to provide the names of references at this stage. You also don’t need to say ‘references available upon request’ as most employers would assume this to be the case.
How to write a good CV?
1. Use active verbs wherever possible. For example, you could include words like ‘created’, ‘analysed’ and ‘devised’ to present yourself as a person who shows initiative. There should be no spelling or grammar mistakes in your CV.
2. Provide real-life examples that demonstrate more practical skills. Avoid using generic, overused phrases such as ‘team player’, ‘hardworking’ and ‘multitasker’. Instead,
3. Take a peek at the company’s website, local press and the job description to make sure that your CV is more focused on the role and employer.
4. Make sure your email address sounds professional. If your email address is not appropriate, create a new account to use professionally. Never put the term ‘curriculum vitae’ at the top of the page.
5. Never lie or exaggerate on your CV or job application. Not only will you demonstrate your dishonesty to a potential employer, but there can be severe consequences too.
6. Always include a cover letter unless the employer states otherwise. It will enable you to personalise your application. You can draw attention to a particular part of your CV, disclose a disability or clarify gaps in your work history. Find out how to write a persuasive cover letter.
Here’s an example of a bad CV and a good CV:
1. Avoid fonts such as Caveat. Instead, choose something more professional, clear and easy to read such Arial or Times New Roman with font size preferably 10 to 12, but nothing smaller. Ensure fonts and sizes are consistent throughout your CV.
2. List everything in reverse chronological order, so the recruiter sees your most impressive and recent achievements first.
3. Keep it concise and easy to read by using precise spacing and bullet points. This type of CV layout allows employers to look through your CV and quickly pick out the vital information.
4. If you’re posting your CV, go with white A4 paper. Only print on one side and never fold your CV – you don’t want it to arrive creased.
At Future Connect Recruitment, our aim is to help people get jobs and train individuals to land their dream jobs. We plans to put job seekers first, giving them free access for jobs and post CVs. Every day we connect and train thousands of people to new opportunities. If you lack training or necessary skills in the field of accountancy check out our training programs here.