So, you have decided that you would like to start searching for the next step in your career. What do you do next? Well to sell yourself to potential employers, the first stage is to write a CV to send across. This is your shop window, the initial step in becoming attractive to potential employers and make them want to invite you in for interview. As a result let’s talk through how to build a good CV that will grab the attention of the person reading it.
Firstly, be clear and concise with the format and information on the CV. As Lauren Jones pointed out in her recent blog on the Perfect Placement website, research shows that potential employers will spend on average 8.8 seconds reading a CV. This means that you have less than 9 seconds for the employer to be able to find the relevant information they are looking for. Avoid long winded paragraphs and stick with clear and concise bullet points or one line sentences. Also make sure that each job role you have is clear. Make a new space for each job and job title so that the person reading the CV can quickly access your employment history by scanning the CV.
The second main point for writing a good CV is very much linked to the first. Make sure the CV is well presented. Once again this is your shop window. Stick with one clear font, Arial is a good font to use. Do not mix lots of colours and different fonts and font sizes. This only makes the CV look confused and harder to read. Presentation is key. Your CV is about communicating with others and could indicate how you will communicate with others inside and out of the organisation you are looking to be employed by. A CV is a professional document and should be treated like one.
Another important factor to consider is the actual layout of the CV. With under 9 seconds to impress, you need to make sure that the most relevant information is accessible quickly. We suggest that you structure your CV as follows. Start with a short profile about yourself. Two or three lines as a quick introduction is enough. Follow this with your work summary. Start with your most recent employment first. Provide solid statistics with regards to this employment. If you are in sales then provide your current sales figures and net penetrations. If you are a technician mention what work you carry out and your current efficiencies. As you go down your work list you do not need to provide quite as much detail. As such, you do not need to write a full page of information about a job you were doing over twenty years ago. After your work history follow with your education including any professional training or courses you have been on.
If you stick with this layout the important information that an employer is looking at will be easy to find and easy to read.
Remember that a good CV is vital in looking for a new job and you want to give yourself the best chance possible. By writing a good, clear and concise CV you will give yourself every chance of being invited into a face-to-face interview. This is the first impression you will be making on your potential next employer and you want to make a good one!