Writing your CV

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Anne Bermingham, business manager of HRL-Higgins Recruitment Ltd explores the steps to take to create a sparkling job history in the latest of her advice features.

A curriculum vitae or CV is your only marketing tool, promoting YOU to the prospective employer.

When you are constructing your CV ensure you look at it from an employer’s prospective. Make sure your CV stands out from the competition. Do not forget when a recruiter appoints someone they are at the interview stage appointing the person, but your CV will be their first point of contact with you; use your CV to open the door.

Getting started

Use good quality white or cream paper. Print in black ink (coloured ink rarely impresses).

Most recruiters take an average of 30 seconds to scan a CV, so it is therefore essential that you do not ramble or overdose on information.

Keep it concise.

Keep your CV to two pages or to an absolute maximum of three pages.

Do your CV on MS Word, this is the accepted industry standard.

Use standard fonts ie., Ariel, Helvetica, Times Roman, with a point size of 12.

Try not to repeat words throughout the same paragraphs unless this is absolutely necessary and remember to tailor your CV to the particular vacancy, highlighting relevant skills and qualifications.

Always spellcheck and check for grammatical errors. Read and reread your CV, get someone else to proof it. You cannot afford to have any errors in your CV, this is an instant turn off for the employer.

Name

This heads the front page.

Contact details

Include full postal address, telephone numbers - mobile, home, work (ensuring you include the STD).

Profile - Ensure you specifically incorporate qualities you have that would be essential for the particular position you are applying for.

Key Achievements

This is your chance to really sell yourself, however ensure that you substantiate your claims with examples. You should include facts, figures and timescales to demonstrate that you are a competent achiever in current and previous roles.

Work Experience

Go back five years, unless you have been with the same company for that period of time, in which case add your previous position also. List chronologically - starting from the present.

Put month and years (from - to) for each position.

Bullet point your key responsibilities - and remember to include any extra responsibilities that would make you stand out from other prospective candidates.

If you have gaps in your CV, explain what they were ie., travelling etc.

Education and Qualifications

Start with those qualifications that are pertinent to the position you are applying.

Covering Letter

Remember to enclose a covering letter with your CV. They are vitally important and ensure your CV is noticed and read.

Use the same font, paper and layout as your CV.

Keep the letter to one page or, three paragraphs if emailing.

For every position you apply for, a specially constructed letter will need to written.

Do not repeat anything you have put into your CV.

Ensure you make it clear which position you are applying for and your reasons for applying.

Give reasons why you think you would be suited for the position and give examples to back up your claims.

Finish by thanking the reader for their time and suggest an interview to discuss the position further.

Contact Anne by visiting www.higginsrecruitment.co.uk