Writing a CV

Applying for jobs is a long and persistent process.
There's a lot of rejection and self criticism, but at the same time you learn a lot about yourself and on top of that, there is also a lot of recognition of you're own achievements and what you can do.

The first step in a job search  is a CV.
This, what some might consider only a small amount of information, is supposed to be a window in to who you are and what you are about to employers.
So it's got to hit the nail on the head!

I'd normally say I'm quite good at self criticism, but writing a CV is hard!
Selling your self with only a couple of pages of paper, and to a stranger no less!

How much information do you put about each role?
Do you bullet point it?
Do you put a picture?!?!

My best advice from the start.
Get someone to write your CV with.
You can bounce ideas off of them and they can help put another perspective on who you are and what your strengths are.
My other half helped me with mine, which I'm sure is how she wanted to do on her Saturday night.

Keep the information you write down clear and to the point.
A friend in recruitment says she spends about 30 seconds looking at a CV in total. Make those 30 seconds count!
Make sure the key skill you have are easy to catch, other wise key information could be missed, costing you that job.

The Profile
This needs to be a small bit of information about you, something that is catchy and quickly highlights some skills you really want to push.
There is a bit of a debate around the use of keywords in the profile.
I'd probably says avoid the words that pop up in a CV all the time. 'Enthusiastic' 'Team Player' etc...
If everyone was who they said they were on a CV, we'd all be the same person.

Work experience
This is the most crucial part of a CV, in my opinion.
I'm a firm beleiver that it's all about experience.
A qualification is great, and shows you have the knowledge and insight into a role, but so many employers look for you to have actually done this before.
It's all dependent on the employer.

Keep this information short and to the point.
Show key responsibilities in bullet point form for easy reading.
Remember you've already used some of those 30 seconds with your profile.
Make sure you use this to bring in key skill you used on a regular basis.
If you've been very successful in your past roles (which I'm sure you have been), it's always good to show some key achievements. Especially if the work you've done is something that could be of use to the employer you are trying to impress.

Gaps in employment. Always give a reason for gaps in employment.
Employers don't seem to mind a gap in employment. We weren't put on this earth to work every day of our life.
Just make sure there is a reasonable reason as to why you weren't working.
If you do get an interview, it can also be a good talking point and maybe a chance to find some common ground.

Also another important aspect of the CV.

A lot of employers will look for a minimum of GCSEs grade C or above in English and Maths.

When it comes to utilising this part of the CV, always add any education you've done.
If it's not specific to the role you are applying for, it shows you are capable of challenging yourself and seeing something through to the end.

Contact information
Make this as easy to see as possible.
You want the person looking at your CV to call you so you want make that information to be easy to find.

Talking to friends, no one is really sure whether to put a picture on CVs.
Talking to my recruitment friend, she says she can't send a CV to a hiring manager if it has a photo on it by law.
So based on that, I'd say just leave it.
Her business is jobs and CVs. She makes money from them.
If she manages it without photos, I'm sure you can too.

If you've got any top tips on writing CVs or if you think you've perfected the art of job hunting, write a comment below!

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