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Professional CV Writing

How to write the perfect CV and covering letter.

CV Writing

Your CV is a very important document that sells your skills and abilities to potential employers. This information should enable you to put together the right CV for the right situation.

If you are finding that you are applying for jobs, but are failing to get interviews, it could be that your CV is at fault and you are underselling yourself.


Professional CV Layout

You should select a layout with which you are happy. 

Preparation is important. You should be concise, but do not miss out any vital information.

 

Professional CV Length

There is no correct length for a CV, however, the length should reflect your skills and experiences. We suggest:

Level Attained CV Length
GCSE/’A’ Levels/Equivalent No more than 1 side of A4
Recent Graduate/Entry Level No more than 2 sides of A4
Experienced/Managerial Variable

 

Personal Information

As a minimum include your address, home telephone number, mobile number and Email address.  Also state your nationality / eligibility to work in the UK and if you have your own car, say that you have your own transport.  State your availability / notice period if you have one too. 

 

Email Address

If you have a inappropriate or silly email address, set up a new account specifically for job searches, and check it very regularly.  Also check the junk mail folder so as not to miss out on any inportant emails from companies and agencies you have applied to. 

When applying for jobs concentrate on any employment relevant to the role or industry, listing responsibilities and achievements.

Place other temporary or holiday jobs together, e.g.  

1996-1998: Various temporary jobs

If you have no employment experience in your chosen sector increase the detail about your education if relevant or highlight any transferable skills, i.e. focus on your strengths and how they are relevant to the job.  

 

References

To save vital space simply use the phrase “available on request”. If your CV does spill on to another page, references could be included.  If the job advert requests references, make sure they are included.

 

When you have completed your CV, please register your CV with JIS Recruitment

 

Professional CV Types

 

Non-Graduate Level CV

There is no need for personal information to take up more than a fifth of a page of A4.

All GCSE/’A’ Level results should be included.

Any relevant work experiences should be included.

Interests should be highlighted.

 

Graduate Level CV

Again there is no need for personal information to cover more than a fifth of a side of A4.

Include an aim, such as “ To find employment as a junior Personnel Administrator to launch my career in Human Resources”.

Concentrate on your most recent education, i.e. your degree, giving details of your course title, result, outline of courses.  Include details on any final year projects or dissertation.  Possibly even list relevent modules if they are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Only give brief details of GCSE’s, e.g. “8 GCSE’s-including Maths, English and Science.”

For ‘A’ Levels, just give your results.

 

Experienced Candidate CV

People with several years of experience still need to pay attention to their CV. Many people undersell themselves by missing out too much detail.

Your work experiences should make up the majority of your CV (work details should be placed before education). The more experience you have the longer the CV can be. If you have had many jobs, concentrate detail on the jobs that are most relevent to the position you are applying for. 

 

Agency CV’s

These should be of a more general nature.

When sending your CV it is often advisable to send with it a an extra sheet with a list of skills gained at university or in industry. Include even minor skills because Agencies often use computerised databases to search for suitable candidates and this may aid your selection.

Also indicate in a covering letter whether you are prepared to relocate, if you have your own transport (and how far you will commute) and an approximate wage requirement (please be realistic about your prospects).

 

When you have completed your CV, please register your CV with JIS Recruitment

 

Professional CV Style

Choose a sensible font.  Use a font which most computers can read – i.e Times New Roman in font size 12.

Use the same font all the way through.

Underline or embolden points but do not do both (and be consistent).

Check all spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Bullet points/concise lists are good.


Covering Letter

When applying for jobs it is often required for you to send in a covering letter along with your CV.  An alternative is to adjust or tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. Please make sure you keep a note of which CV you have sent to which company.

A covering letter gives you a useful opportunity to highlight parts of your CV that are of particular relevance to the position for which you are applying.

You should also aim to state what you wish to gain from employment with this company, e.g. I am looking to build on my experience and knowledge gained working as an HR Administrator in this role as HR Coordinator and further my career in Human Resources.

Also, this is a good chance to say what you can offer the company. Use positive words, e.g. enthusiasm, dedication, energetic, hard work, team working, flexibility. You need to come across as though you have something to offer the company.

Always address the letter to the correct person and make sure the name is spelt correctly.


Professional CV Do's and Don'ts

 

Do’s

  • REMEMBER, your CV is a selling document. Its purpose is to get you an interview.
  • Include email address and mobile number on your CV.
  • It must be brief, to the point and demonstrate continuity.
  • Use MS word or PDF as your format.
  • Presentation is important.
  • Check spelling, punctuation, grammar etc.
  • Read the details of the post carefully and tailor your CV to meet the requirements of the job.
  • Stress the skills you have which are particularly relevant for the post you seek.
  • Be positive about your achievements.
  • Include all previous experience, in reverse chronological order, do not leave gaps.

 

Don’ts

  • Be creative - stick to a standard format.
  • Use colourful background or designs on your CV.
  • Write about yourself in the third person, i.e. he has worked to a consistent level, etc.
  • Attempt to be humorous.
  • Self praise excessively.
  • Overdo your hobbies - if you have no hobbies use space for other details. Do try to include hobbies relevant to the job, such as those demonstrating teamwork and commitment.
  • Use large print.

 

Register Your C.V.

Register When you have completed your CV, please register your CV with JIS Recruitment.

For more information about Professional CV Writing please contact us on 01827 216 148 or email us at vicky@jisrecruitment.com.

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