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5 Tips for a Great CV

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Long-range planning works best in the short term.” – Doug Evelyn

If you’re a job seeker looking for IT support jobs, computer jobs, IT sales jobs or web developer jobs, remember that you only get one chance to impress … and that means your cv has to be compelling.

Recruiters receive hundreds of CVs, so yours needs to stand out. Here are 5 useful tips to help make your cv do just that.

1. Keep it short and correctly formatted

Your cv should be short and to the point. As a guide, don’t let it run to longer than two A4 pages.

But what if you’re an older job seeker with many jobs to describe, what do you do then? Well in that case, don’t describe them. Rather focus on your most recent work experience and job performance.

If you feel you must refer to previous jobs, then make a separate list of these and refer to this list in your covering letter. This also applies to your qualifications.

Your cv will be read on-screen before being printed, if it ever is printed, so make sure it’s formatted in such a way that it’s easily read on a computer screen.

The recommended fonts are Arial or Times New Roman, in size 10 or 12. Don’t use italics and never use coloured borders or coloured backgrounds.

2. If you’re not qualified for a position don’t apply

Some people read a job advertisement and because it sounds exciting, decide to apply. Don’t waste your time doing this. Read the job description carefully and then ask yourself, ‘Do I have the right skills and work experience for this position?’ If the answer is yes then by all means apply, but if not move on and find something else.

3. Try not to bury important information

Recruiters want a cv to give them reasons to interview applicants. Make sure that what you can bring to the job is easy to find, easy to understand and compelling. By making the recruiter’s job easier, you’ll be increasing your chances of success.

4. Lying or misleading information

Adding a little sparkle to your cv in order to describe yourself in a good light is acceptable, but don’t take this too far. Recruiters are quick to spot information that doesn’t add up like inflated salaries, qualifications, job titles and achievements. Many employers also conduct extensive background checks on applicants using specialist candidate checking services. So beware!

5. Don’t write meaningless introductions

If your cv has a paragraph that reads, “Enthusiastic, sales oriented, dynamic, IT literate, blah, blah, blah,” get rid of it. An opening paragraph that says everything and nothing at the same time is not going to excite a recruiter. Rather, draft a short, simple headline about yourself along these lines: “Senior IT Manager with 10 years experience of managing online resources in the health sector.” This will do a much better job for you and encourage a recruiter to continue reading.

Adam Marsh writes articles relating to careers and job hunting on behalf of Adria Solutions, in Cheshire

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