What is a CV
A CV is a document to sell yourself to possible future employers, otherwise known as a personal marketing document. A CV says who you are, what you are about, what qualifications you have and your work experience as well. Alongside any notable achievements or even hobbies if they help support your CV.
How to layout a CV
When writing up your CV, you may be tempted to make it design heavy, however a CV that is clear and simple to read is better because there’s less distraction from the talent and skills listed in the CV. When a recruiter or hiring manager looks at a CV, they are trained to read a CV in a set way. By making your CV simple and effectively worded, you’re able to receive much more substantial help from a recruiter.
Part 1: Name, Address and Contact details
At the top of your CV should be your name, address and postcode, email and phone number across 2 lines. it will make it easier for your recruiter/hiring manager to search for what is available near you. It’s common that CV’s may not get this information updated, but it’s essential that your details are always up to date.
Tips: putting a postcode is helpful as many recruiters use smart searching based on postcodes. Ensure your number and e-mail is correct, it may surprise you but 10% of CV’s have a old mobile number on it!
Part 2: Personal Statement
You’ll want to talk about what skills you have, how you apply these skills in your life so Keep this to about 3-5 lines. Sell yourself in this section with key words that are relevant to who you are, like if you’re never late, you could put a line about how punctuality is a natural talent of yours that you use to keep a busy schedule running. Another thing to consider in your Personal Statement, is Key words relevant to you that support your CV, if you have a lot of work in volunteering, you could put community engagement as a key word.
Part 3: Employment History
In this section list each job you have done in the following format with your current or most recent role at the top, going backwards:
- Job title
- Company name
- Dates, including months
- 1-2 lines about what the company does
- 2-4 lines about what your role involved
- The reason you’ll want to do it in this format is that it’s simple, both to read and to edit in future and doesn’t take up much space.
- Tips: List any awards the company has received, any training or certification you received while there too.List the type of company using key words, if you’re a chef working a michelin restaurant, write those words in. If you’re a freight forwarder and you do ocean freight or customs clearance, put those words in, you will show up when a recruiter searches for someone with those skills
Part 4: Qualifications
This would be where you list out certificates you received in college, on the job training, or anything essential that would support your CV, don’t put every qualification you’ve ever had. Just list out, in 1-2 lines what the qualification is and what level it’s at.
Part 5: Skills
Give yourself a few lines to put in any skills you have. You will stand out more if you have a skills section. Giving you a space to list out what you’re good at, if you work in the digital industry, list the software you have used. If you have used Canva for Digital marketing, list it as a skill. If you use Cargowise for Freight forwarding then list it.
Part 6: Key Skills
Key skills are things effective in a specific context, like being trained with CADCAM systems or holding an up to date Level 2 lorry licence, you would put those in your key skills area.The key skills section should go just below your skills section.
When writing your CV, writing 3-4 hobbies can be a huge support for your CV, this is important as it helps build a better idea of who you are and what skills you use. If you’re in a role that is part of a team and you play a team sport, put that sport as a hobby. Even reading industry specific newsletters would be great. If you have unconventional hobbies, you may want to omit this. However, if you were applying for a sales manager role for a florist, then an interest in gardening would go well in your hobbies section.
Create a portfolio of your work if your in a creative role and do a covering letter. Don’t forget to have your linkedin profile up to date and matching your CV!