WRITING A CV

A CV is the first thing a potential employer will see when considering you for a role, so it is important to convince them you are the right person right from the first sentence.

As a basic guide, your CV should include:

Profile

An interesting and easy to read introduction about you and your career aspirations. – don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet a little.

Key Achievements

Bullet point your key achievements in a work or education based environment. For example – you might have made a difference in your role that resulted in an increase in business for your employer.

Skills

IT skills such as software packages, hardware platforms, operating systems, programming languages, databases etc as well as transferable skills and languages.

Employment History

Start with your most recent role and work backwards. Make sure you include full dates of employment (MM/YYYY format), job title, employer name, reasons for leaving and a detailed description of duties, responsibilities and achievements in the role.

Education

Full dates, institution, course and grades.

Interests

More important than you might think! It gives the client an impression of who you are and whether you are the right fit for their company.

CV Dos and Don'ts

Top 5 Dos:

  • DO check your spelling

    Don’t just rely on the spell checker to catch spelling and grammar mistakes, read through the CV carefully to make sure everything is correct and makes sense.

  • DO get a friend to proof read your CV

    A fresh eye is useful to spot mistakes or offer suggestions, so ask someone else to proof read it for you. Once you’ve read your CV three or four times, it’s difficult to stand back and look at it objectively. Never try and finish your CV in one sitting, always go back to it after a couple of days.

  • DO remember to attach your CV

    When applying for jobs online and check you’ve attached the correct file.

  • DO sell yourself

    Make sure you include a full description or list of your duties and responsibilities for your current and previous roles as well as what you feel you achieved during the role.

  • DO keep it simple

    A client will lose interest if your CV is hard to read. A simple font with clear spacing between the different sections is best.

Top 5 Don’ts:

  • DON’T include your current employer as a reference

    You wouldn’t want them being asked if they would re-hire you when you haven’t even told them you’re leaving!

  • DON’T turn it into a novel

    It is important to include as much relevant information as possible, but make it concise. Two pages are ideal, but don’t worry if it goes on to a third if you feel the content is relevant.

  • DON’T lie

    Putting false information on your CV is a waste of your time and the client’s and will only give a bad impression when you are found out.

  • DON’T forget your target audience

    If you’re a graphic designer, feel free to wow the client with your design skills on your CV. But if you’re an Administrator, a flashy CV with lots of graphics will look unnecessary and unprofessional.

  • DON’T just post your CV anywhere

    Remember that putting your CV online means that anyone can see it, so think carefully about the websites you’re adding your details to and who will be able to view your CV.

INTERVIEW TIPS

We’re sure you already know how to prepare for an interview but it’s good to remember the following points for your interview prep. First impressions really count in interviews so it is vitally important that you are presented in a professional way.

Below are our hints for conducting a successful interview

PRESENTING YOURSELF

  • 1 Neat Hair
  • 2 Clean Shaven
  • 3 Warm Smile
  • 4 Portray Confidence
  • 5 Formal Dress
  • 6 Firm Handshake
  • 7 Correct Body Posture

CV Dos and Don'ts

Interview Dos:

  • DO dress appropriately and cover up tattoos

    Make sure your outfit in smart, clean and ironed. A suit and shirt/blouse is ideal and ensure your shoes are clean. Remember to cover up tattoos and remove any facial piercings, this includes tongue studs.

  • DO make time for personal grooming

    Gents, clean-shaven or neat beard with clean and brushed hair. Ladies – a neat hairstyle and no excessive make up or jewellery, make sure any nail varnish is not chipped.

  • DO your research.

    Carefully study the company website so you are prepared for any questions they may ask you.

  • DO give a firm handshake

    Shake the interviewer’s hand when you walk in. Use a firm grip but not enough to crush their hand! A smile, a firm handshake and a “pleased to meet you” goes a long way.

  • DO ask questions

    Asking questions will give the impression that you are interested and have paid attention during the interview. Ask insightful questions about the role and the company, not just about parking, holiday, pay and benefits.

     

     

Interview Don’ts:

  • DON’T get lost for words

    Make sure you have considered what questions the interviewer may ask so you don’t get stuck for a response. They may ask about reasons for leaving previous roles or gaps in employment, so have an answer prepared. Think about why you want the job, and what you can bring to the role.

  • DON’T panic

    Even if you feel nervous, acting confidently will give a better impression.

  • DON’T fidget

    Fiddling with your hair or jewellery gives the impression that you are nervous or distracted.

  • DON’T leave your phone on

    Having your phone go off or vibrate during your interview will just distract you and will not impress the interviewer. Make sure it is switched off.

  • DON’T give the wrong impression

    Telling the interviewer about the wild party you had last night does not paint you in a professional light.