Top Tips for CV Composition

Being in the recruitment industry, I receive hundreds of CV’s per week. I always take the time to read them and add them to our database. But there is one recurring trend I have noticed; People don’t know how to put a CV together. Getting your CV out in the market is more than just typing your personal details on a document and sending it on. Your CV is your introduction to a company, if it doesn’t grab their attention and stand out above the hundreds of others they’ve received, then it’s a waste of paper. You need to sell yourself to the company with your CV. Your CV needs to be the drawing card for an introduction.

For this reason I decided to write this to help anyone who needs to get their CV out into the world. Some top tips on CV composition.

Customize your CV for each Job Application, paying close attention to giving information and details significant to the specific job.

The Presentation of Your Written CV – While it is understandable that people want to personalize their CV’s, this is actually a big ‘NO-NO’. Your CV should be printed on
good quality, white/ cream paper, NOT colour. Never include a photograph or image in your CV. Stick to ‘Times New Roman’ or ‘ Arial’ font styles which are easy to read and don’t use font size smaller than 11.

Written CV Layout – There is a general layout to follow when preparing your CV in order to deliver the exact sales message the best written Curriculum Vitae can.

  • CV Title – Write a CV title that describes the job that you are applying to as well as highlight a key skill or abilities which you possess that is relevant to the job
    description. For example: Network Administrator – Microsoft Specialist
  • Personal Details – Detail your personal information including; your name and surname, your local address, your contact numbers and your E-mail address.
  • Personal Statement – Following your personal details, write a statement in twenty five to thirty words. Clearly display your intention to join the employers firm
    and apply the required skills in order to succeed.
  • Working Experience – When detailing your working experience, be sure to list information in reverse chronological order; emphasize your achievements rather than your duties.
  • Working Skills – Your CV should detail skills which you have gained throughout your
    career that directly correspond to the job application in hand.
  • Relevant Qualifications and Education – In reverse chronological order list relevant qualifications obtained, pertaining to the specific job application.
  • Job References – While this is not a pre-requisite, it is always advisable to include a
    list of relevant references. If you are a graduate without any working references, list a mentor or lecturer who you worked closely with during your studies.

Tone and Language Used in a Word CV – Avoid long winded paragraphs where you have a lot to write about but nothing to say. Use bullet points in your word CV but never use abbreviations or text language.

Even though there is no right or wrong way when writing your CV, these are the most relevant pointers to follow when preparing a CV that sells your best qualities. Bear in mind that the average recruiter takes a maximum of thirty seconds when scanning through your CV, therefore the quicker you communicate the relevant information to the employer, the better your chances are of being identified as a potential candidate.

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