We see a lot of CVs at Eden Scott. Some good, some inspiring and some are not great. With all our teams' experience we surveyed their knowledge to create some CV writing tips; a top 5 dos and don'ts to keep you on the right track and to make sure you get that interview. Don't forget to have a look at our CV template too.
- Make sure you spell check your work. We can't emphasis this enough. This was the one tip that everyone in the team was in total agreement on. There are a number of CVs that cross their desks and the spelling mistakes show a significant lack of attention to detail, which will be replicated in your work.
- Add a short profile at the start of your CV to explain who you are and why you are relevant for the job. Keep it concise and to the point, but make sure it is relevant for the role. A number of people go straight into education or job history which doesn't explain quickly why you should be considered.
- Make sure you've taken the time to align your CV to the job you are applying for. The number of people who blast out a standard CV without taking the time to adapt the skills and experience they've gained and relating them to the specific requirements of the job they are applying for is huge. Take some time to adapt your CV and it will help you cut through the noise.
- Cover any gaps in your employment. It is important to make it clear why there is a gap; career break, travelling, raising family. But keep this simple. Don't add in information about your break, a simple line with the reason for the gap is fine.
- Provide some detail to your achievements. Suggesting that you increased sales or turned the business around without any detail to back it up lacks credibility. Add some context and detail that you can bring up and talk about in interviews.
- Don't use inappropriate email addresses. The email addresses you created at university or when you were at school that include nicknames, favourite football teams, dates of birth do not present a professional outlook. Make sure it is simple and professional.
- Don't include a photo. It's not necessary and if the employer does want to see you they can always check out your LinkedIn profile - just make sure you have a professional image on there.
- Your CV doesn't need to include lots of formatting, company logos or pictures. While it may look good - and we appreciate there are some roles, designers for example, where you are trying to differentiate yourself - the aim of the CV is to provide the very best information in the clearest possible way. You should focus on presenting the facts and figures and using the opportunity to use convey your suitability in a written format. 99% of the time we'll take the information from your CV and put it into a standard template for the client, so, unfortunately, any time you spend formatting may be wasted. Also, avoid sending it as a PDF. We understand the attraction but this is difficult to send onto clients if the consultant has spotted a mistake.
- It is truly amazing how many people forget to add in their contact details. Even though you're most likely sending the CV via email, it is essential to include contact details on the CV or you will miss out on potential opportunities.
- We don't want to read War and Peace, but there is an urban myth that CVs should be no more than two pages. If you have had a number of relevant jobs make sure you add them in with enough detail about why they are relevant and some facts on your success.
If you need some more help with your CV and a CV Template check out 'The secret to an eye catching CV'.
If you would like to speak to one of our consultants about your CV or career just get in touch.