Our CV workshop is 50 this week – that’s right we have run 50 weekly sessions. So we thought we would celebrate with a cake and share our top tips.
Get it right
- A CV has one function, to get you an interview with a particular employer. So it needs to be more interesting and relevant than other applicant’s CVs. Begin with the one sentence that will get the employer’s attention.
- Tailor your CV. It has to show why YOU should get the advertised job, so match their requirements. Once you have the basics in place it does not take long to tailor each time – but it will make the difference.
- It’s far better to send out ten great, well thought out CVs than it is to send out 100 of the same CVs. You get results when you put effort in. If you spend 10 seconds sending a CV it’s likely that whoever looks at your CV will take 10 seconds to see it doesn’t match the job properly
- Too many CVs contain strings of meaningless adjectives You may well be honest, hardworking, punctual and energetic with a will to learn. But just ask yourself – is there anyone out there applying with a CV that says “I am lazy and a bad time keeper; curmudgeonly and antipathetic to work.” No!
- Add Value. Make your adjectives real. Confident, creative dedicated, helpful, punctual, team worker could become: With my NVQ level three in Childcare, and a years’ recent experience at a Children’s Centre, I am a confident Childcare Worker. Dedicated to helping children fulfill their potential, I make sure I am there early each day to prepare creative sessions and work with the whole team to create a safe and secure environment where children can develop. Use more VERBS and fewer adjectives.
- Always have the job advertisement beside you. Match your CV with the job. Get your ticks by reflecting back what they ask for in the Ad. But don’t copy word for word what an advertisement says; or just take something from the internet. Anyone can do that and probably will. It’s lazy and boring.
- Your CV should be a maximum of two pages long. Employers don’t spend ages looking at CVs. If it is too long then it may be ignored.
- Be consistent with the font, use a simple and easy to read layout. Use bolds, underlines and italics sparingly
- There is no need to add your marital status; gender; date of birth; nationality or even your address on your CV (especially if you live far away).
- Top up your CV – If you have been out of work for a while you can top it up with volunteering, work experience, and training.