Preparing Your C.V.

The main job of your CV is to present your qualifications and experience in such a way as to give you the best chance of being selected for interview for the job to which you are applying. There are no hard and fast rules as to what should be included and how that information should be displayed, although you should keep foremost in your thoughts that the information should be accurate, concise and complete.

You should also bear in mind that your CV is not always going to be viewed for selection by the hiring manager, as often as not it will go through a Recruiter / Human Resources first, so the information that makes you a good fit for the job should jump of the page and not need an expert in the field to decipher it.

There should be a structure to the CV that should include Personal Details and Contact Information, Education and Qualifications and Work Experience, the last two areas in chronological order.

Under work experience provide details and responsibilities of your previous roles along with notable achievements. Make sure your dates of employment are correct and don’t leave significant gaps of time unexplained and unaccounted for.

It is useful to have a general CV prepared with all the main information included, but when applying for a particular position, compare your CV with the job specification and where you can make sure you have all the skills and attributes that are required represented on your CV. Don’t make assumptions on behalf of the reader, include all relevant information clearly and succinctly.

You may also wish to include additional information like training undertaken or computer software skills. Information regarding hobbies and interests can work for or against you depending upon the interests of the person reading the CV, so it can be better to leave this information out.

There is a common perception that a CV needs to be two pages long – this is not necessarily true. The CV needs to adequately reflect the candidate’s experience so someone with a longer work history may need more space than a recent graduate. Don’t cram it all in to two pages or leave out relevant information just to adhere to the ‘rule’. Having said that, if you feel you need a contents page, you’ve probably gone too far!

If you are unsure about something or would like some advice, please call one of our consultants on 01932 797999 who will be happy to provide some guidance.