Writing your CV
At the Express & Star and Shropshire Star we’ve had the privilege and benefit of working with a number of big recruiters and recruitment consultants over the years and in that time very little has changed when it comes to writing your CV. Of course, there will always be some differences of opinion, and a CV that supports an application as a payroll clerk will look quite different to that which supports an application for a graphics designer.
We’ve interviewed experts, canvassed opinion and written articles about what you should and shouldn’t do and we’ve compiled the best of all that advice right here.
How long should a CV be?
Without exception, most recruitment professionals agree that a CV really shouldn’t be any longer than two pages. However, that doesn’t mean that your CV must be two pages in length as less is more if it means keeping the content relevant to the role.
Two pages should be more than long enough to include all the necessary and important details but short enough not to bore the reader.
As with anything though, there are and will be exceptions to the rule. People in certain occupations, such as academics, often tend to have much longer CV’s.
What should you include in your CV?
Always remember that your CV is akin to being your personal shop window. You want to have enough relevant information that’s of interest to the recruiter so that they feel compelled to offer you an interview to find out more about you and your suitability for the role.
But never, ever be liberal with the truth. It will always catch-you out in the end – often at the interview stage. So be honest and you’ll find the whole application and interview process far easier to follow.
Top dos and don’ts –
- Do include your personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and any professional social media presence should be clear.
- Don’t add your date of birth as it is no longer needed, owing to age discrimination rules.
- Don’t include a photo unless you think it is necessary to support your application, a photo is only essential for jobs such as acting and modelling
- Do showcase your career achievements – in particular you should include evidence of how targets were exceeded and ideas created.
- Don’t leave gaps in your career history. Many people have periods of unemployment and leaving a gap will only arouse suspicions. It’s best to come clean and explain it. Even if you took time out because of illness, or to travel or to look after a loved one, be honest and include it in your CV.
- Do tailor your CV so that it’s relevant to the job that you are applying for. In other words, make sure you highlight the skills and experience that you believe the employer will be looking for.
Social Media Presence
Once an employer has shortlisted candidates for interview they will then often enter your name into a search engine to see what they can find out about you ahead of the interview. Therefore you should always remember never to post anything onto a social network that’s publicly visible that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see whether that’s Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter or any other network.