We so often we get asked about how a CV should be presented. What to include or omit, how long it should be, or even whether to have it written in the first or third person. Our advice is to keep it clear and concise, and in keeping with any other digital profiles that you may have on social media.
Gone are the days where a client will rely solely on the CV, references, or the recruitment agency’s impression of the candidate. With social media at everyone's fingertips, clients now also turn to Linkedin, Facebook and even Instagram, before they agree to interview a candidate - so it's not just your CV that you need to account for. Ensure that you are in keeping with who you say you are, across all of your digital profiles.
As recruiters, we see dozens of CVs, every day. We have come up with a straight forward CV template to get you started. This simple CV format will hopefully allow you to clearly sell your story and also tailor it more specifically when you are applying for positions that require more or less detail.
Linkedin Account (Optional)
It is important that a hiring manager or recruiter can get in touch with you via phone or email. If you put a Linkedin address on your CV, know that you are likely to be looked up and that your digital profiles are aligned!
This needs to be a short introduction to who you are, what you are looking for, and more specifically, your areas of experience. You don't want to be too specific, to ensure that people don't pigeon-hole your capabilities. It is a good idea to add some key strengths in this section, and if you are comfortable doing so, you can go as far as to create a "key skills" sub section with bullet points (as below).
Include your personal strengths as well as work related skills, if they are relevant to highlight: -
If your education is relevant to the positions you are applying for, we recommend putting the education section before the employment section. For example, if you are required to have a degree or specific qualifications for the positions you are applying for, you would want to highlight this before your experience - especially if it could be the most relevant strength to your application.
Keep your education and qualifications simple and clearly stated.
Place of Education
Course or Degree Studied
Results, if relevant.
We always encourage you to list your most recent position first, and work backwards from there. Your employment history - and more specifically, your responsibilities within each position - needs to be concise but informative, and relevant to the role you are applying for wherever possible. If you have never worked before, you would want to highlight any work experience or volunteer work in this section.
Place of Employment
Dates of Employment (Including month and year for each position)
Reason for leaving: It is important that you cover off your reasons for leaving each position, and if there are any gaps between positions, put a note to explain this. Assumptions are always made where little or no information is given.
This is an opportunity, as with your personal profile, for you to briefly give an insight into who you are as a person. Not everyone will look at your interests and hobbies in too much detail, but you just never know who does, and if your interviewer shares a common interest it could be your ice breaker! It is often easier to put this in a short, bullet point format as well.
Upon Request. We never encourage you to put personal information or contact details on references as you may not want your references to be contacted until you are formally offered a position.
Additional information that may help you when applying for positions online, via recruitment agencies or directly with an employer include the following...
More often than not, employers may ask you to submit a covering letter with your cv or application. When doing so, this should be separate to the CV in terms of format, should be directed to the employer (if you are given a name and / or department), and should clearly state the title of the position that you are applying for (as a reference).
The covering letter is just as important as your CV, but tailored more specifically to the position that you are applying for. An employer doesn't want to see a word for word copy of your personal profile from your CV. Ensure that you tailor the letter to highlight any specific skills that the position or advert requires, and that you can evidence this from your CV.
Remember also that an employer or hiring manager will receive several applications and covering letters, so yours needs to be concise and relevant, but professional and personal too.
Follow the guidelines on the advert when submitting your CV and cover note. More often than not, you will be given an email address to apply to, rather than a formal address that may have been the preferred contact in years prior. If there is a personal email address, it is safe to assume that you would direct your email to that person specifically. If the email is more generalist (such as HR@, Careers@, etc), then you would address it more formally ("To whom it may concern…").
Thank the reader for their time at the end of your cover letter and highlight your availability for interview, as well as any notice period in your current position.
For more information on CV writing, Linkedin profiles, or how to make the most of your application process, please feel free to get in touch with us. We would love to help and will always give honest, professional advice. We are available by phone on 07469 706432, or via email to email@example.com.