Writing a CV can be a daunting process and you’re not alone, many people don’t know how to write a CV either. That’s why you should seriously consider using the services of a professional. Whilst there is a fee, it is a small price to pay if it gets your CV noticed and an invitation to interview is received.
In the main, a professional CV is worth its weight in gold and something you should think about. Don’t compromise your opportunities, particularly at the moment when competition is steep, if you don’t know how to write a CV yourself.
If you are still adamant on writing your own CV, here are some of the things you should and shouldn’t do to get you on the right track.
How to Write a CV – The Dos
- Do include your contact details: Your name, full address, telephone numbers – landline and mobile and email address.
- Do be truthful; do not be tempted to tell little white lies. They will come back to haunt you when you least expect it!
- Do choose the correct format for your CV. Do you need to use a chronological or functional CV or a combination of the two?
- Do ensure you highlight your key skills and achievements and focus on how you can help the employer and what specifically you have to offer over other candidates.
- Do make sure your CV is word-perfect and the grammar is impeccable. Keep it succinct, ensure it reads well and is pleasing to the eye with sufficient white space.
- Do include a personal profile to draw the attention of the interviewer or HR department, to encourage them to read on and want to meet you.
- Do ensure your CV is easily readable. Avoid cramming in too much information or cluttering the page with fancy fonts, boxes, underlining, etc.
- Do make sure your CV is no more than two pages in length.
- Write your employment history reverse chronologically. The past ten years should suffice with the main focus on the last five years in particular. State your job title, employer and years you worked there.
- Do use bullet points, action words and concise sentences. Qualify and quantify where possible to give your statements more weight.
- Do make your statements under specific headings.
- Do include any qualifications or relevant training in reverse chronological order with places, courses and dates.
- Do print your CV using the best ink setting and use good quality paper, preferably 100g white or cream and has a watermark.
- Do tailor your CV to the position you are applying for. This may mean you will need to tweak your CV on occasions, but it will be worth it!
- Do send in your CV with an outstanding cover letter, addressed to the correct person.
How to Write a CV – The Don’ts
- Do not include any unnecessary or irrelevant information.
- Do not include your picture unless asked to do so.
- Do not include your current salary details unless specifically asked.
- Do not change the margins and over clutter, this makes the CV look messy.
- You should not use lots of differing fonts, borders, shading or anything else which will make the page look too busy, such as excessive italics, bold or underlining.
- Do not exceed two pages unless you are writing a specialised IT or medical CV.
- Do not use a font less than 10 and try to use Arial or Verdana as these fonts are easily readable.
- Avoid using paragraphs, except for the personal profile.
- Do not include your reasons for leaving.
- Do not include salary details.
- Do not include your marital status, nationality or date of birth as these are no longer required.
- Do not list full details of your referees but do outline that they will be made available on request.
- Avoid jargon and any words which the human resources department will not be familiar with.
- Do not use the word responsible, where possible. Try to think of alternative verbs to describe your role.
- Do not use ‘I’ or ‘My’ within your CV.
- Do not fold your CV, always send it in an A4 envelope but remember to adjust the postage accordingly with the new Royal Mail scale of charges.
How can Anglia CV Solutions Help?
If you do not want to buy a professionally written CV but feel you still need a little help, why not purchase one of our CV template packs, which will give you examples of what needs to be included in your CV, a standard template for a chronological or functional CV, a list of action words and a guidance sheet.
Alternatively, we can write your CV for you.