Whether you're a new graduate or well versed in the professional world, your CV can always be improved and amended. Throughout your career you should always aim to keep your CV as up to date as possible, not only because the world of business is an ever-changing environment, but to make sure that the information you are putting down is fresh from your mind and entirely correct.
1. Short and sweet
Keep your CV to a two-page minimum. This amount of information is manageable for the employer and shows that you are able to edit and condense your own work. As long as your work is laid out in a way that it is clear and legible, keeping to two pages can be visually appealing. Don't think that reeling out 10 pages of your achievements will impress anyone; the real skill lies in the condensing, the editing and the formatting.
2. Tell the truth
Never lie in your CV, it will only come back to bite you in the derrière. Be honest in your abilities and skills. Because, if you get through to the interview stage you will be asked about elements within your CV. And if worse comes to worse you get the job, you will be expected to apply the skills you have claimed you have. So although you landed that dream job, you may not keep on to it for very long!
3. Key achievements
Without over doing it and listing your school sports day medals, put down what you feel are your most impressive or important achievements in your professional life. As you have limited space, tailor the achievements you choose to the job you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a role with a financial element, highlight any mathematical achievements.
4. Employment history
List your employment history in order. This is basic CV stuff that we know you know already. When you're doing this, however, be aware of any gaps in your employment. If you do have gaps in your timeline of employment, rather than ignore these, hoping the employer won't notice (because they will), write about them honestly. Include why you were unemployed at the time. And make note of any personal or professional development you undertook, any travelling or volunteer work, just make sure you don't sell yourself short.
This is an optional section to be kept to a minimum. When writing your CV at 16-18, this may have been appropriate. However, once you have some professional experience under your belt, this takes precedence over your hobbies. If your hobbies are particularly interesting or relevant to the job role and may present a talking point at the interview stage then this may be the exception to the rule.
6. Contact me
Remember that your CV may be viewed away from your email and personal statement. It is therefore vital that you include your name and contact details clearly on your CV. If you do not, and the employer cannot get in touch with you, then shame on you for not making it as easy as possible for them to offer you the job.
With these tips on your mind, take out your CV, brush the dust off it and get working on it. Remember to take your time. Proving your skills in just a few paragraphs is not an easy task for anyone, but within the CV it's all about understanding what the job the potential employer wants and picking out from your own skills what will fulfil these needs.
Do you have any tips of your own that have proved successful in the past? Give us a tweet @nbs_careers to let us know.
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