10 Tips on Writing a CV

Kerri-Ann, Director and Finance Recruiter of 13+ years gives her top tips on creating a memorable and readable CV. It can be quite a stressful task when you haven’t written one in a number of years. It’s important to remember that most hiring managers and recruiters scan a CV looking for key information before reading the whole document, therefore this is your opportunity to stand out. One size doesn’t fit all, apply these points only if you feel they suit your personal circumstances.

Your CV is the first thing an employer will see – how it looks at first glance will be the reason they decide to read it in more detail. First impressions count.

Here are 10 tips on writing a CV…

 

Get the basics right

In terms of what to include in your CV, start with your name, location, contact number and email address. A profile statement followed by key skills and/or systems skills. Not necessarily both. Consider putting your Education and any Professional qualifications next followed by your Employment history in chronological order. Lastly, hobbies and interests.

How many pages?

This is something many recruiters, HR professionals and hiring managers will disagree on. I would prefer to see the detail – 2 pages just isn’t enough. As your recruiter I want to get to know you, that means seeing the detail and then deciding together what information can be highlighted, removed or reduced. It is important to remember not to waffle, think; Does this information add value to my cv?

Tailor your CV

Treat your CV as a working document. A master copy. Tailor your CV to each job application you make. Considering the job specification and bringing out your skills. Focussing on specific areas of your experience as well as listing achievements that have relevance to the job description. If you are working with a recruiter use this as an opportunity to understand more about the job before submitting your CV. Think of it as putting your best foot forward.

Include achievements

It is important to back up your employment history with achievements. Ideally listed underneath each position if there is something to note. Whether one or three points this detail will help you stand out from the crowd. An opportunity to add value to your CV.

Systems skills

A necessary addition to your CV. Often roles require experience of a specific system, by including it you are increasing your chances of being selected for an interview. Consider Including details of which systems you have used either as part of each role you have listed in your employment history or as a section below your personal statement. The latter would be my personal preference.

Formatting

Never underestimate the importance of presentation. A clearly presented CV will stand out amongst those that are messy. Keep it simple. Using a simple font such as Calibri or Arial with a text size 11. Consider using the bold and underline feature to highlight certain text such as headings. Use bullet points.

Hobbies and interests

Include hobbies and interests, they help to give your CV a boost and an insight into your personality. Where possible draw on interests that make you stand out or are relevant to the job.

Proof read

Never underestimate the power of proofreading. Check it once, twice and ask a friend. Don’t spoil your CV by including typos and grammatical errors.

Keep your CV updated

Review your CV on a regular basis, add in new skills and update your master copy to ensure no detail is missing.

What not to include

Don’t include passive interests like watching TV, a headshot, date of birth and address, marital status, spelling mistakes, the words Curriculum Vitae, avoid paragraphs and lastly bland language. Always consider if the information is relevant and adds value.

If you would like to discuss your CV with one of the team at H2 get in touch with one of our consultants. We will endeavour to support you and guide you through the process.