Given that recruiters spend a matter of seconds scanning CV’s to make hiring decisions, it is vital that you present relevant information in an appropriate format.
4 basic principles to follow:
- Format – Aim for 2 balanced sides of A4, with an uncluttered layout and easy to read. Be consistent with font size and style, and use appropriate margins, headers, section dividers and bullet points. In basic terms, does it look good? Make it professional.
- Order – Show your most important information first and give it more space. Keep it simple by working in a reverse chronological format from your most recent experience backwards. A general rule of thumb is that the further back your experience is, the less space you should devote to it.
- Relevant – It is essential to tailor a CV to each specific job application. Take time to highlight the key skills and desired personal attributes given on the job description and match these against your own experiences (academic, work-related or extra-curricular).
- Detail – Ensure that you check for spelling and any grammatical errors, any repetitive vocabulary, adding in too much or too little information, and most definitely avoid those clichés. Asking a family member or friend for feedback can really help. Employers in any sector will expect you to pay good attention to detail so will reject your CV instantly if it contains spelling errors.