We spoke to Anuja Basra from our Careers and Employment team who had some great advice for crafting the perfect CV. Take a look at what she had to say below.
In today’s competitive job market, there are likely be many applicants applying for the same role or space on a course as yourself, so it is important that you give yourself the best chance for success with the strongest possible CV.
Knowing where to start can be difficult but we’ve got some useful tips to get you on the right track.
Experience and education history is important but, if it is not showcased in an appealing way, it can often be overlooked for another that is more eye-catching.
- Avoid writing large paragraphs – this can be overwhelming and off-putting
- Condense important information using bulleted lists
- Separate sections with clear headings
These little changes can have a difference on the impact of your CV.
It might seem logical to list your achievements from oldest to newest but not when writing a CV. Employers and universities want to see your most recent successes first, to show what you are currently doing, and because it is most likely the most relevant. Start with your current or last work experience/academic achievement and work your way backwards – but not too far back! Keep it relevant and up-to-date.
Less is more
This applies to both the content of your CV and the presentation. Many may think that writing more will seem more impressive but being able to present yourself in fewer words will actually work in your favour. Employers and universities will be able to grasp your successes more quickly, resulting in faster decisions being made. Applying this concept to your formatting will also be beneficial. Choose simple fonts and an appropriate font size to ensure your CV is professional and clear to read.
Get to the point
When writing your achievements you need to be direct and to the point. Those reading your CV will want to know how you achieved something, rather than just knowing it happened. For example:
“Previous experience in delivering marketing campaigns” could be rewritten as “Delivered successful marketing campaigns with an increased engagement rate of 7%.”
Being more direct with evidence of achievement provides the reader with all they need to know and puts you in the best position.
Honesty is the best policy. Your CV should present the real version of yourself. Enhancing or being untruthful about your achievements won’t benefit you in the long run as it can all be unravelled once you start your new role or course. With that in mind, don’t sell yourself short. Be proud of all your accomplishments – both personal and professional – to showcase who you are.
Still need a bit of help? Our Careers and Employability team are here to provide guidance on CV writing and career direction through frequent CV workshops. Alternatively, contact them to arrange a personal 1-2-1 appointment and learn how to put your skills into practice.
In the meantime, check out this handy guide they have put together with even more tips on how to make your CV stand out.