Autumn Banner

Autumn Banner
Featured SliderLatestNews

Preparing your CV and finding employment

Carl Reeder's three-part series on preparing a CV and finding employment

Now that your Career Development Plan (CDP) is ready, you can prepare your curriculum vitae.

The curriculum vitae or CV is Latin for ‘course of life’ and is a short-written summary of your career and experiences. The key to good a CV is to keep it simple, and your experiences structured towards the position you are applying for. No one CV should be the same.

To successfully prepare your CV, you will need your CDP and of course the job advert. Every advert will have the position requirements and answering those through your experience will give you the best chance of success.

Let’s start with the structure.

  • Use a basic font like Arial or New Times Roman in a size 11.
  • Do not include graphics, colourful and or unusual fonts.
  • Never use a head shot, not only can this be distracting, but it can also create subconscious bias for your recruiter.
  • It’s okay to use single spacing, but where possible keep some spaces between your paragraphs.
  • Some job ads will tell you the size of the CV, but unless you are applying for a particularly complicated position, I would never go beyond 3 pages in length. If, however you have more critical information and experience that shows your suitability for the advertised position, make it longer.

The body of your CV

The whole focus is about matching your work experience to the advertised position whilst bringing a small taste of who you are as a person.

  • We start the CV off with a strong personal statement. Outlining your natural fit to the position, you interweave your skills into the job adverts requirements. Make sure this section is adjusted for each job you apply for.
  • The next section are your key personal achievements, here I like to list a few things that help to define your personal side. For example, I wrestled a great white shark for fun in 2013.
  • Then of course we get into the main part which is your employment history.
    • Always start this section from your current position and work back.
    • Including your last three positions is normally more than enough. If you have additional experience, I recommend that you leave a note that more evidence can be provided should it be required.
    • For each position, make sure the name of the employer is clear and the time you worked there.
    • Include the key responsibilities you had for each position. Try to write these so that they link up with the position requirements. Only include the most important ones, to ensure that you save space and keep the CV focussed.
    • I like to finish each position with a brief note on how the position went and why you left, without embellishing too much, keep this positive and brief.
  • Your Qualifications and development come next. Just list them and make sure they are in date order and keep it relevant. If you have a training certificate for knitting and you are applying for a tree surgeons’ position, you can leave it out.
  • Finally, put down your hobbies and interests. This is another bit about you and can really give the employer some insight into what drives you outside of the office environment.

Once you have prepared the draft. Edit it. Read it a few times and use a spell checker to help with spelling and grammar. If you are unsure, give it to a family member or friend to check it over for you.

Nothing puts a perspective employer off more than spelling errors or poor grammar.

Please do not get suckered into using online subscription and other costly services to prepare your CV. Some common sense and support will take you along way. Good luck, you will be fine.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close