Writing a CV is hard, especially if you have many years' experience or haven’t written one in a while! There are many differing opinions from 2 page limits to formatting so here are our 7 ways to make sure your CV is presenting you In the best possible way.
The average time spent on the first review of a CV is less than 10 seconds
The aim of the CV is to be concise and interesting enough to catch the eye within 10 seconds, whilst having enough depth to keep people reading for over a minute. This article will help you achieve that.
Birmingham has a plethora of household names and recognisable listed brands, but not everyone knows exactly what each business does. A concise sentence below each company on your CV can work wonders, e.g.
“A leading confectionery manufacturer supplying global customers from its Bournville plant”
If you do work in an instantly recognisable name, tell us where and what you do. As an example, Jaguar Land Rover is a vast company; do you work in the plant or do you support the head office functions?
Whilst less is often more, when describing your duties do give us background. If you produce management accounts; tell us to what deadline, to what level, who do you hand a draft off too, who reads them?
If you prepare the cash flow; how often, how far in advance? Finally, make sure you tell us what stakeholders you deal with and to what ends, we like to know the detail.
To support your duties we need some achievements. If you don’t support your CV with solid and measurable achievements, you're doing yourself a disservice. On the other hand, don’t go over the top. If you were part of a team that achieved something, that’s fine.
Talking of systems, put them on. Its nice to know you have used SAP, Sage or can deal with SQL.
PDF looks awesome, but it's best to stick with Word for applications. Not everyone's systems can cope with PDF and sadly some systems have the ability to turn a perfectly formatted CV into a jumble of words. Our recommendation is to use Word for applications, with a printed-out PDF copy for the interview.
Make sure you run through your draft and do not forget the basics. You will be surprised how many people don’t put their contact details on.
Keeping your CV to 2 pages is too limiting in our eyes. It's an age old argument, but 2, 3 or a maximum or 4 pages is acceptable.
Photos are best left off CVs, as are dates of birth.
Save space by ditching old jobs and reference details, shortening the education area or limiting your address to just a postcode and town name.
Finally, a well written is CV is concise, whilst offering enough detail to answer surface level questions. If you put time and effort into your CV, it will shine through.
For free specialised CV help, email your cv to firstname.lastname@example.org
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