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CV Writing Tips

If you’ve searched online for CV writing tips, you may have been overwhelmed by the choice.

What is a good CV? And what isn’t?

We’ll help you to write a better CV and, of course, it won’t cost you a penny because it’s part of our service for candidates. It’s our job to help you find a new job.

In our experience, the best CVs are written by you, our candidate, and we offer you specific guidance and tips.

Your CV does more than just highlight your experience, it is an opportunity to communicate your personality and to emphasise attention to detail, communication and accuracy.

Be authentic, express yourself positively and create a good impression.

Here is a short list of simple ways to improve your CV and help you stand out from the crowd.

Keep to the facts

Be congruous. If your Executive Summary mentions a “long, successful career”, describe it in later paragraphs. Avoid causing a potential employer to wonder whether you’re full of hot air. Avoid writing clichés too. Being “highly motivated” and a “team player” should be clear from your listed achievements.

List your biggest and most relevant achievements and successes. Keep your sentences short and concise so an employer can quickly form a good impression of you. Tell the truth: if you get to interview and job offer stage the employer will carry out checks such as CRB, background screening and references –don’t get caught out at the last minute.

Attention to detail

Write your CV from an employer’s point of view. They’ll have numerous CVs to review so make yours an easy read.

Quality check your CV. Ask someone to proof read it, a friend or family member perhaps. A CV with spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes not only fails to get your message across, it suggests a lack of care and diligence.

Be consistent. If you describe one role alongside the month, year and company – format each in the same way.

Include all the facts your employer will need such as notice period, salary and marital status – these will be important if you are considering a job overseas.

Write confidently

Sell yourself and emphasise your achievements. If you don’t, who will? Describe your strengths, management experience, level of seniority, big projects you’ve worked on, results you’ve won. Be assertive and proud of your achievements and experience, this is no time to be modest. Avoid negative language like “ignored”, “argued”, “quit” and language like “occasionally I…” or “sometimes I…” - a seed of doubt could be sown. Be sure about your sentences. You know your skills and achievements, so make sure you communicate them clearly.

Tailor to the employer

Competition for jobs is higher than ever, even though skills shortages exist in some sectors.

If you decide to apply for 10 jobs, using the same CV for all, how are you going to stand out? Research the company you are applying to, and, describe experience which is relevant to the role for which you’re applying. Bring to the beginning of your CV any experience that directly relates to the company and project for which you worked. If the job description uses particular key word phrases, try to replicate these words in your CV, demonstrating how you meet them.

Your CV reflects you

Remember that when writing a CV and applying for job it should fully reflect who you are now. A good CV evolves as your career evolves. This is your best chance to capture an employer’s attention so make sure he or she will read it and shortlist you for interview.

If you have any other application questions you can call us on 01925 907000 or email recruit@firstrg.com

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