Your CV is a powerful sales tool, so use it effectively to make a great impression. It usually is the first thing that an employer will have to judge your suitability & character to do the job. Take time in preparing your CV as it will be worth it.
Include your full name, address, email, contact landline, mobile telephone number, date of birth, marital status, nationality and whether or not you hold a full, current driving licence.
This is optional but it should show brief information about your personality, characteristics, strengths and a brief overview of your career to date.
This is often over looked when writing a CV and is often your key opportunity to display your level of competency.
Examples could include:-
- Your proficiency with hardware, software, systems, etc.
- Have you been involved in project work?
- Have you got experience of working with specific systems?
- Do you have relevant skills you should highlight?
- Always list your employment in reverse chronological order for your whole career. If you have worked for a significant time within one company, break it down showing each position held within the company.
- Make sure you include dates of employment, job title, name of organisation, what they actually did and who their customers were.
- List your responsibilities and achievements; the most important first. Remember to elaborate on those areas that are particularly relevant to the position you are applying for.
- It is very important to mention names of specific processes, hardware, systems, machinery etc., you worked with and what skills the position required you to use.
- It is also worth noting any specific achievements or projects you undertook whilst working for the company, such as improving uptime, developing PPM systems, or even being involved in plant moves, installation or commissioning projects.
- List your highest achievement first stating qualification and grade.
- With City & Guilds qualifications it is essential to identify the level you have studied to i.e. 1, 2, or 3 or A, B or C and if you continued to full technical certification level.
- If you have studied via BTEC, it is well worth identifying what equivalent ONC, HNC or HND standard you have attained. Continue with other qualifications down to your apprenticeship stating whether this was indentured, time served, modern / advanced modern
This section is also often overlooked in CV writing, and is almost as important as the qualifications you hold. Think about it, if you have undertaken a key course that may save your new employer hundreds of pounds, when it comes down to final selection, which candidate are they going to offer the role to? List any relevant training that you have undertaken and whether this was undertaken externally or in house.
Two references are adequate. You should include your current or last employer and if you are concerned about someone contacting your referee prior to your consent we suggest using "References available upon request".
Key Points to Remember
Your CV will decide whether or not you are selected for interview – a good CV will show you have taken time and effort to apply for the role, a bad CV will show sloppiness and a lack of commitment from day one.
- Your CV has, on average, no more than two minutes to impress a potential employer, so it is important to sell yourself using positive language and emphasise your key skills.
- Use a standard font consistently throughout, such as Arial 12pt. Check and re-check your grammar, spelling and punctuation, do not always rely on a spell checker.
- Do not use an inappropriate email address, keep it professional and just use your name e.g. email@example.com not something like firstname.lastname@example.org
- Don't leave gaps in your career history. If you've been pioneering enough to take a year out to travel, say so. It could give you the edge over someone who hasn't.
- Never mislead a potential new employer with false or misleading information, you will very quickly get found out, so honesty is always the best policy.
To reiterate things, your CV is a sales tool which markets you to your prospective employer. Give careful thought to its content and how it is laid out. It is natural for any employer with ten CV's on their desk to simply
skimover a CV and pick out the relevant information, so ensure that it can be easily read!
Now that you have created your new CV and you are bursting to get that new job, please take a moment to visit our Interview Techniques page, where we have put together some helpful hints to assist you through the interview process.