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How to write an inspiring CV

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Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is your opportunity to ‘market’ yourself, which if done correctly, can help you secure an interview.

As well as being clear and containing important information about your experience and qualifications, the tone of voice of your CV plays a key role in connecting with a potential interviewer. 

Employers will receive numerous CVs for a vacancy so first impressions count. A poorly laid out CV wont be read, and a lengthy CV will send them to sleep. Keep your CV to the point and save some information to discuss during the interview.

Basic Information

As always, there will be general personal details that the CV should contain as follows:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your contact address
  3. Contact number
  4. Contact email address

Employment history

This is your opportunity to shout about all of your key achievements as well as give the reader some background on your employment history.

Try to detail your career chronologically, starting with your present/most recent job. Include: job title, company, industry and dates of employment e.g . June 1999- December 2012, then a brief description of your duties, responsibilities and your achievements.

Try to highlight the relevant experience that you feel you have which a future employer may benefit from. What did you achieve that brought success to your employer? Examples could be increased sales, reduced costs, improved systems, etc.

When highlighting your success try to give some key details that would give the reader some perspective such as;

“I managed a team of 12”

“I increased sales in the branch by an average of 23% year on year”

“I found ways to streamline the ordering process which led to the branch saving over £5,000 per week”

This not only gives the reader a better perception of your achievements, but also offers them a view on the kind of person that they would want to have in their team. When reading a CV, potential employers want to know “why do I need this person?” “what makes this person an assets to the company?” and above all “why should I interview this person?”

Education, training and professional qualifications

Unless you have only just left school then try to focus on education and training that you feel the reader can actually benefit from. Confirming that you have a management degree could be the difference between them interviewing you or another candidate, but listing every school exam that you passed such as the fact that you got a GSCE in PE will not help you secure a manager’s job.

Always ensure you also include any specialist training courses that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Additional Information

Remember this is your “advert” and any other skills or experience that you feel are relevant could give you the edge over other possible candidates. If you speak other languages (conversational/fluent), this can be considered a useful asset, and if you can supply any references be prepared to make them available upon request.

Final checks

  1. Check for spelling mistakes – ask someone else to read it to ensure it is grammatically correct
  2. Send an original document – never send a photocopy
  3. Make sure it is typed and in black and white
  4. Never include your salary details – this may rule you out before getting an interview
  5. Keep it to the point – Your CV should be a maximum of 3 pages
  6. Ensure there are no gaps on your CV- If there are, make sure these are explained

Remember – your CV is your key to getting an interview!

For further assistance contact us on 0121 778 6999 and speak to one of our Inspired Selections advisors today.