How to write the perfect CV
No matter what job you’re applying for, your Curriculum Vitae is one of two key documents. The other is the covering letter you submit to go with it.
Curriculum Vitae, CV for short, is Latin for “the courses of your life” – but that’s the last thing it should be. A CV is not a recount of all the irrelevant activities you got up to at school, or the Scout or Girl Guide badges you won when you were a child.
It’s a focused, concise and specific document which should closely match the requirements in the job description, something which employers can quickly scan to make sure that you have the skills and qualifications you need to do the job.
Together with the covering letter, it’s something to entice employers to invite you to interview. There will be dozens, if not hundreds, of other applicants to its worth making sure that yours is one that stands out.
John Hyde, managing director recruitment firm Elizabeth Michael Associates, based in Canal Street, Nottingham, said that job applicants should make the effort to ensure that their application – CV and covering letter – is specific to the role.
“Generally,” he said, “put care and effort into each application. If possible, write a different CV for every post to make it relevant for that position. At the very least, make sure each application goes off with a good covering letter.
“If employers or recruiters get the feeling that you can’t be bothered to apply properly, then they will wonder why they should be bothered to give you the opportunity.
Mr Hyde offered a few more pointers to applicants, based around the same theme of taking effort to apply properly for each job. Although job applications can be a laborious process and positive results can be few and far between, your chances will be greater if you follow a few simple (yet sometimes neglected) rules:
- Make sure that you have read the job description properly – there’s nothing worse than including skills that aren’t relevant for the position.
- Where you do have the relevant experience – point it out! Each job will have dozens if not hundreds of applications so they need to realise that you are exactly what they’re looking for.
- Use bullet points wherever possible – they make the copy concise and much easier to read.
- Make sure that your spelling and grammar is correct. Mr Hyde says his firm sometimes sees CVs which are written with text message language.