CV Centre

Advice, help and tips for CV writing

Top CV and Application Tips
The recruiter or hiring company are going to be looking for evidence of specific knowledge, achievements, responsibilities and competencies. The more you can help them 'see' these in your CV and cover letter the better.
  • Ensure that your cover letter demonstrates how your experience and achievements fit the requirements of the position you are applying for.
  • Use action words - delivered, lead, saved - and match these to the qualities being sought through the job description.
  • Customise your CV so that the examples you use are relevant to the particular position
  • Keep track of what you have sent to whom and when (this is particularly important if you are customising your CV and cover letter)

The importance of presentation

Your CV or Resume is the first thing a prospective employer is going to see about you. It therefore plays a critical role in their overall impression of you and whether or not they decided to follow up your application. The presentation of your CV/Resume plays an important role. The CV/Resume is not supposed to tell them everything there is to know about you but it is designed to get them to want to learn more. The following presentation tips should start you off in the right direction:

  • You have a limited amount of space on a CV so need to use it to best effect;
  • Recruiters frequently scan hundreds of CVs for one vacancy so your CV must stand out;
  • CVs are screened out for many reasons, one of the most common is poor presentation;
  • Initial screening is rarely done by the decision maker so it tends to be on key data (qualifications, experiences, key words etc);
  • Overly long, or difficult to navigate CVs will tend to get skipped over;
  • The purpose of a CV is to get you an interview (and not get you the job) so it is important to be selective and not just cram everything in. Your aim is to convey the message that there is more to you than presented on the CV thus compelling an interview;
  • The way the CV is presented can be as important in getting you to the next stage as the content itself;
  • The CV screener will equate sloppy presentation and spelling errors to a disinterest in the vacancy and/or a poor work attitude;
  • A well presented, well laid out, professional CV can instantly convey a positive impression of you;
  • Using gimmicks to ‘get noticed' does not work - what works is a professional CV in terms of both content and presentation.
Articles on CVs and Resumes
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Tips and Hints for CV writing

Spelling and grammar
Make the most of the spelling and grammar tool on your computer and ask a friend or relative to proof read your CV. This may sound somewhat basic or over the top but it is crucial to the success of your application. Many employers will reject a CV immediately if it has errors in it and even if they do not, it will make an impression on them (which will not be positive).

Make sure your CV is well presented, but not over elaborate. It should be set out in a logical order, and be clear and easy to read so that your strengths are easily recognisable. Do not be tempted to play games or add gimmicks. There are very few circumstances where unusual paper, fancy folders, coloured ink will be advantageous - so unless you and the job you are applying for is one, steer clear.

Keep your CV as concise as possible, but make sure that you provide enough details to make the relevance of your skills and experience evident. For example, explain what the job or project accountabilities included and give some dimensions to the companies you list (size, scope, sector etc - the precise details you should include will depend on the company and the job you did and are applying for)

No matter how relevant your skills and qualifications may be to the position you are applying for, make sure that you are explicit about this and link them to your experience. Never list skills, qualifications and experience out of context. Consider the use of a cover letter to increase your ability to highlight achievements and experience and demonstrate their relevance.

When applying for a specific position, it is important to meet the application deadlines specified and to have a final read over everything before you sent it off.

Cv writing help for candidates