- notes on preparing a CV ready for a job applications
CV & job application letter includes:• CV preparation
• Job application cover letter
A CV or curriculum vitae is an essential document that is needed when looking for a job. It needs to be well written and presented to make the best of any job opportunities that may exist. With the number of applications that employers receive, it is essential that a CV stands out from the rest. Employers often do a quick first pass of the CVs (they typically only look at it for around eight seconds), so it is necessary to make sure that a CV stands out from the others and passes on to the next stage of the selection process.
While CVs are an expression of the individual and will vary from one individual to the next, there are some basic guidelines that can be noted to ensure that the CV has the best chance of being seen. Broadly, the CV should be clear and concise and should "sell" the candidate in a positive but truthful manner.
What should a CV contain
There are a number of key elements that a CV should contain. Employers will be looking for these points and therefore care should be taken to ensure that all the information that is required is present:
- Personal details name, and contact details including address, telephone number (s) and email address should all be included here. Often other details including nationality, birth date and whether a driving licence is held may be included
- Skills A section including skills should be included. This section is often scanned by employers looking for keywords and can therefore be very important.
- Work experience This section should detail the work experience and should be set out in reverse chronological order, i.e. most recent experience first. It should focus on achievements and successes and highlight abilities that were demonstrated.
- Education details  : A list of qualifications and brief educational details should be included.
- Other details many people include some supplementary information including hobbies, etc. Some employers may believe this superfluous, but it does give any interviewer a fuller picture of the candidates.
- References References will normally be taken up before commencing any new employment. As a result it is common to put the names and contact details for referees on a CV. One of these will be the previous employer. Where feasible (i.e. not a current employer), it helps to ask referees before including their names on a CV.
CV presentation and style
The importance of the presentation and style of a CV cannot be over-stressed. Employers may receive hundreds of CVs for a particular position, and a good looking CV is far more likely to be noticed. Time spent in making the CV look attractive and presentable is not wasted.
Some people opt to incorporate their photo into the CV. While this is a growing trend, it is not always to be recommended, and it is worth taking advice from any employment agency about the wisdom of doing this for a particular employer or situation.
Often slightly different versions of a CV may be required for different applications or situations. Be prepared to be flexible as small changes can sometimes make a large difference. For some situations it may be possible to have two CVs ready prepared if there are two different styles of CVs that may be required to emphasise different aspects of one's career.
CV Do s and Don'ts
Submitting a CV is only the one stage in applying for a job. However it is nevertheless very important. Get it right and it will open the door to many more opportunities than a poor one. It is worth spending time getting it right. Write it, review it, correct it, and get someone else to look at it, preferably someone with experience in the field of recruitment. Once it is good, then submit it and wait for the interviews.
The CV is the way in which you advertise or sell yourself in the job market. It is imperative to get it right as prospective employers see very many and will pass over them very quickly. Yours much catch their eye with the right keywords and layout. Below there are the five main tips to observe when preparing a CV:
- Be concise - as prospective employers have many CVs to check over, concise CVs are the ones they tend to look at.
- Tailor your CV - adapt your CV for the role for which you are applying
- Don't leave gaps - if there are any gaps in your employment record prospective employers will wonder what might be hidden.
- Check it for errors - errors on a CV make a very bad impression. If you cannot get your CV right, what else will you get wrong. Uset he spell checker on your PC and also get someone else to read it through.
- Be truthful - do not claim anything that you have not done. Any misrepresentation will count against you and it may well come out in the interview.
With many people applying for jobs, it is necessary to have a CV that stands out and ticks as many boxes as possible. Applying these simple rules when preparing a CV is one way that can help.
With a good CV or resume, you have a far better chance of an interview and then the job you want. Spend time on your CV preparation, be positive and chase after that job you want.
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