10 point CV checklist for maximum success
There is lots of advice out there about how to write a CV and there will always be a certain element of personal preference involved when managers and recruiters are reviewing a CV.
There are though, 10 simple things you must do with your CV to make sure you give yourself the best chance of success:
- Include your contact details. You don’t need to use your full address, but do include the town, county and post code
- Use the same font, font size and bullet point style throughout your CV. Consistency is key
- In the UK, don’t include a photograph, nor personal information such as NI or passport number, marital status or age
- Proofread your CV, then do it again, then get someone else to read it. Hint – read your CV out-loud, it helps to highlight any areas that don’t flow well
- Don’t include reference details but instead, simply include “References provided on request”. This saves space, and also mitigates against your referees being contacted before you’re ready!
- Keep your CV between two and four 4 A4 pages whenever possible. Play with the margins and font size if needed. Cut out any unnecessary details.
- Make sure that you include all the technical skills that you have – many recruiters and HR departments use keyword search engines to look through CVs
- Don’t include lots of detail from irrelevant experience from many years ago. Simply reduce this to the employment dates, company names and the positions held
- Explain any gaps in your employment
- If applying to an advert, always take the time to ensure that your CV reflects that advert as closely as it can. Where the advert lists required skills, technologies and experiences, ensure that your CV clearly shows the ones that you have. You can also mirror the language they use
- There’s lots of dispute about how much personal/interests information you should include on a CV, if any. In our opinion, it depends. Some hobbies and interests are welcomed as although not strictly relevant to the role, they add to your personal profile and demonstrate a good team fit, but where do you draw the line? Take a look at our blog for more info.
The key to a successful CV is to tell the reader how you are going to fill their need. Yes, you need to reflect the duties and responsibilities required, but try not to just list what you have done, but include the impact/outcomes of those actions. Honesty is key though, there is no point laying claim to skills you don’t have, as it will only come out during the interview process!
Good luck with your job hunt!
Other CV advice posts that may be of interest to you:
– 15 CV tips from recruiters who have seen it all!
– Should you include interests on your CV?
– Which silly CV mistakes are causing you interviews?