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CV Tips | Maximise your interview
Writing a Winning CV
Your CV is the first point of contact with an employer. From the employer's perspective, it's the only available information with which to assess your skills and suitability for a job.
All jobs are different, and so are all employers. Your CV will need to be tailored to each potential job and employer. It's important that your CV is appropriate to the job, addresses criteria, and above all else is relevant to the position.
Your CV needs to be interesting, as well as clear and concise. It should make a good first impression.
Everyone has a collection of achievements - things they've accomplished in their role. What's important is to be able to quantify those things as a work value measurement. The employer will look for results which relate to the job.
Remembering that your CV is being targeted to a specific job, you will need to show a potential employer that your previous work has been both productive and significant.
A critical aspect of creating a CV that has a dynamic impact is a personal statement; this will enable the employer to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to their organisation. Your CV should be a selling tool aimed at persuading the employer to invite you to interview. Your personal statement is a critical part of making this happen.
A well written statement can be between 50 and 200 words, although it is important not to ramble. Remember you always have your cover letter to include interesting and engaging information which will act as the enticement for a potential employer to read your CV.
It's important to read the personal specification of the job carefully and ensure not only that your skills and experience match, but you reflect this in your statement. Try to do this in the first person as the CV is all about you and your skill set. Do not begin each sentence with 'I', the reader knows it's about you so avoid this type of repetition and keep the reader engaged in your value and transferable skills.
Identify where you are coming from, that you have had industry experience (something that may be in the selection criteria) and core transferable skills. This in itself could be enough for your opening statement, but it can be expanded upon by adding some additional information.
What value you can add to the employer's organisation, for example: 'During placement with xxxx, I worked within the xxxx division contributing to projects such as xxx and managed my own research, liaised with various divisions, produced reports and participated in group project meetings. Utilising excellent communication skills, I developed and maintained successful working relationships with both internal and external staff'.
• Include a relevant personal statement
• Keep it professional, no photos, fancy paper, folders or fonts
• Check for spelling errors
• Stick to bullet points of no more than two lines each
• Detail your career chronologically with your most recent position first
• No more than two to three pages
• Don't just list job tasks. Use your CV to demonstrate how personal skills, experience, qualifications and achievements can translate into real benefits
• Professional Qualifications, education and awards should be listed in reverse chronological order
• Don't include 'socialising' or 'going to the pub' as interests, for obvious reasons
• Don't leave gaps in your CV. If you've had a year travelling or similar, it is better to include this than to leave the reader guessing
• Use the past tense, it sounds more powerful
• You may need more than one version of your CV - highlighting different aspects of skills and experience
• Never falsify or give any misleading information to an employer - it's illegal
• Don't put yourself in a position where your statements can't be trusted. Only give verifiable information, and don't exaggerate.
• Remember that you're competing with other people. Quality of information is what really matters on any CV. Keep it real, at all times.
Feel free to download our templates in order to produce your CV or visit http://www.totaljobs.com/careers-advice/cv-and-cover-letter/free-cv-templates-downloads for many more professional CV layouts.
You can download a CV template here, or a Graduate CV template here from our downloads section.
If you require more assistance or feedback on your CV, ask our consultants, they would be delighted to help.
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