You’ve finally graduated from university, and now it’s time to start applying for those long sought after jobs, so what is the best way to write your CV in order to find employment? This is a short guide to making sure your CV looks professional and gets the attention of any future employers.
There are many CV templates available for free online, you can find an array of options if you type ‘CV template’ into a search engine. Make sure the one you select is suitable for the job you are applying for, for example, don’t choose one which is brightly coloured with flamboyant font if the company you are applying to is very serious, instead use black text and a standard font in a neat layout.
Once you’ve chosen your template you need to decide what you are going to write in order to promote yourself in the best possible way. Firstly remember that the person reading your CV has never met you before, so this is your only chance to make a good impression, therefore fully represent yourself, your skill set and your personality to the best of your ability.
You need to be noticed above all the other applicants, so include what stands out about you, but do so in a manner which is self promoting but not conceited.
So what to include – it is advisable to condense your CV to two pages long. Any less than this won’t be professional and could be interpreted as you not having much to offer the company, or a lack of experience, and any more than two pages will seem too long winded, especially when there will be a number of CV’s for the company to look through to find the successful applicant. The first page needs to include all of the most important information about yourself, as this is the page which will be the deciding factor whether your future employer will want to continue reading your CV, and then go on to contact you for an interview.
The first page should include your up to date personal details, so make sure you can be contacted on the phone number and email address provided. It sounds obvious, but how frustrating would it be to be offered an interview for your dream job, but you were unaware because you gave an email address which you never check. Next write a brief personal statement, make sure it really represents who you are and what you have to offer, always be honest not only in your personal statement, but throughout all of your CV. Do not exaggerate your qualifications or experience, else it is very likely you will trip up later on at interview stage and will look foolish.
Next list your education (don’t forget to include your A level grades, the University you have attended and the degree level you attained) then any work experience which is relevant to the position applied for, followed by other work experience. Include any positions of responsibility which you’ve had, also your personal skill set. For example, if you are proficient in using any computer software make sure you include it on your CV, as most job sectors require this skill and it will make you stand out more with regards to consideration for employment. On the second page, list any outside interests you have and then any references you may offer.
With regards to formatting remember to make sure everything you type is in line, check the spelling and grammar thoroughly, make sure that all the spacing is the same (this really stands out if not correct and looks very unprofessional), and make sure all of the text is the same font and size. If you are changing the font and size for any titles, or underlining, be consistent and do this for every title. Some applicants choose to include a covering letter, but this is optional.