CVs and Interview Tips

A CV, which is short for curriculum vitae (Latin for ‘the course of one’s life’)

Your CV is the first impression you're going to make with a potential employer or recruiter and if you have zero or limited work experience creating a professional CV can feel like an uphill battle, so for the best chance of securing an interview Use the following guidelines below to help you to get it right and impress your potential employers.

 

So what should be in your CV?

It is important that you know how to effectively represent yourself by presenting your skills, knowledge, experiences and previous occupations in a way that will interest potential employers. Every item included on a cv needs to show why you’re a good fit for the job.

How long should it be?

It should be concise and to-the-point ideally 1 or 2 pages long, employers receive hundreds of applications. As time is limited, they generally prefer to receive short, concise documents. CVs need to grab the employer’s attention. They should be concise, snappy, and be tailored to each job application. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cv.

 

Structure Of A CV

 

1. Name, and contact details

  • Full name: First thing at the top of your CV
  • Address: You could either add your full address or keep the simple just your postcode.
  • Phone Number: Make sure to layout your mobile number correctly, and as a side note in order to make your number easier to read space it out into 2 to 3 sections e.g. 074 000 1020 instead of 0740001020
  • Email Address: Any email address should be fine but be aware that if your email address isn’t professional e.g. jokey, rude or offensive it will put you at a disadvantage. You want to give a good first impression so keep it simple and professional.

 

2. Personal profile / Personal statement

  • Writing your personal statement is your introduction, its opportunity to tell the employer why you’re the right candidate to be offered an interview.
  • Briefly sum up, who you are and what you can do for an employer.
  • It should be no longer than a few sentences long, your aim here is to grab the attention of the employer with a short summary.
  • For best results, tailor this to reflect the requirements of the jobs you are applying for
  • Try to avoid using too much of the same old simple cliché lines e.g. I’m a hard-working individual, I’m a good team player, good at communication, try to mix it up a bit.

 

3. Core skills

  • A core skills section should be a bullet-pointed list that sits just under your profile.
  • It can include anything from experience and qualifications to skills and IT knowledge.
  • The purpose is to give employers a very quick snapshot of what you're offering so that they can see that you are a good fit for the role at first glance.

 

4. Work Experience

  • Recruiters and employers expect to see past jobs where you have worked and what you achieved in each role. This can be any work experience you’ve had whether voluntary or paid.
  • Always write in reverse chronological meaning start with the most recent job roles listed first, always date
  • Do not write a job description, it is largely irrelevant, instead highlight with bullet points key duties you had and any achievements or responsibilities.
  • If you have no work experience then extend information on your education section, a school project can be something you can elaborate on to show your skills and strengths. Include all subjects you studied and any key achievements the are important enough to emphasise. Maybe you managed a school project at school or indeed played a key role that contributed greatly to the success of the task.

 

5. Education and Qualifications

  • Starting from the most recent same as with work experience always write in reverse chronological order.
  • List the education institutes you’ve attended universities, colleges and schools with dates and all exams you’ve passed including grades achieved.

 

6. Achievements

  • Depending on what your applying for employers may be looking for other key skills or attributes you have that further show character, capabilities and what else you could bri