How to write a CV: Secure Your Future Role
Published: 27 Jun 2013
Everything you need to know about CVs
Your CV – short for ‘curriculum vitae’ – is an incredibly important document. Your CV is often your only option for providing a good first impression of yourself to potential employers. With competition for jobs more fierce than ever across the UK, standing out from your rival job candidates can be difficult made even more so if your CV is not of a high enough standard.
On myfuturerole.com, you’ll find everything you need to know about writing CVs, including formatting tips, crucial mistakes to avoid and useful resources.
If you are struggling to write your covering letter, meanwhile, or you’re wondering about the best ways to format it, why not check out our cover letter advice?
Is your CV already exemplary? Why not upload it to our database? This could see recruiters approach you with exciting job opportunities, and will simplify the process of applying for vacancies through myfuturerole.com.
CV creation: five important things to remember before you begin
Before we get on to the nitty-gritty of CV creation, you should familiarise yourself with these very important points. If you do not adhere to the advice below, the hard work you put into your CV could prove fruitless.
- Keep your CV concise and simple: It might be the case that you can think of 100 reasons why you’re best suited to a vacancy, but if you list every single one on you CV, you’re not likely to prove successful. Recruiters should be able to scan your CV and quickly spot your suitable skills – they should not have to read through endless text to determine your credentials. Be sure to include your relevant attributes only and avoid rambling. Your CV should not exceed two sides of A4 paper.
- There are no ‘one size fits all’ CVs: Like covering letters, you should always edit your CV to suit the specific role you are applying for. Don’t worry – it’s very unlikely you’ll need to produce a CV from scratch every time. You can simply move sections, and include or exclude certain information, depending on the relevance to each role.
- Never lie: While it might be tempting to bend the truth in order to secure an interview, it is not at all wise to include lies on your CV. Employers are able to check whether you have the qualifications you claim, while other mistruths could unravel while you’re in the interviewee hot seat. Most employers would prefer a slightly under qualified – but honest – candidate, than an experienced but devious one.
- Always get your CV peer-proofed before submission: A CV littered with spelling and/or grammar mistakes provides a very poor first impression of a candidate (our survey confirms this). It is important not to rely on spell checker tools in programs such as Microsoft Word, since regional spelling variations won’t necessarily be detected, and auto-correct could insert an irrelevant word due to a typo. It is incredibly hard to spot our own mistakes also, so it is not enough to simply read through your own CV several times before submitting it for a vacancy. Always ask a friend or someone else to read it for you.
“Applicants sending CVs and letters without spelling mistakes are 61% more likely to get a reply and 26% more likely to get an interview." Source: kent.ac.uk
- Your CV should be a working document: Once a person has secured a new job, they often neglect their CV until the time come to look for a new employer or career path. It is much wiser to revisit your CV at least every six months, and add some notes to it detailing the latest skills you have acquired. Just because you’ve been in the same role for a while this does not mean your skillset is not evolving. Making notes periodically will make revising your CV later a much easier task.
Even the most impressive CVs can fail to impress employers if the layout is poor. For advice about effective CV design and formatting, click here.