A CV is a personal marketing tool, and its purpose is to get you interviews. A first class CV should show your achievements and value to an employer in a short, concise and proactive way. Even if you are working with a high calibre recruitment consultancy like Cobalt Recruitment, we alone cannot secure you interviews. Your CV has to fully support the introduction and endorsement that our recruitment consultants can make to an employer on your behalf.
To create a truly effective CV which optimises your chances of success, we recommend the following:
- Make sure your CV is easy to read, concise and to the point.
- Address each selection criteria listed in the job advertisement and make sure these are also listed in the body of your CV.
- Adhere to short sentences and keywords.
- Make sure it is factually correct.
- List your outcomes and achievements – not just your daily activity.
- Be sure to focus on what you can do for the employer, include specific examples.
- Always quantify your past achievements and experiences.
- Always make sure you spell and grammar check your CV.
Format & Structure
To begin, prepare a list of your key competencies and skills that your employer will be looking for. Be analytical about yourself and identify your main selling points that differentiate yourself from your competition. The most common content to be included includes:
- Your name, address and contact details should be at the top of the page.
- Include a ‘Profile’ of around 3 lines which summarises you, your skills and your aspirations.
- List your career in reverse chronological order beginning with your current role. List the companies that you have worked for, the dates that you worked at them and a brief description of your role. Start and end dates for previous roles should include both the month and the year. Authentications and memberships should be current.
- Under each of your jobs held (ideally adopting bullet points), write a number of lines describing your objectives and responsibilities. The more recent roles generally warrant more detail.
- Interests. This section on hobbies and interests should be kept short. Any information should have a purpose, showing skills relevant to the role you are applying for and saying something of interest about yourself.
- Include a section with general details of your education, focusing on your higher education. This rarely needs to be too detailed, especially for more senior candidates with extensive industry experience.
- Include other qualifications that are applicable to your career – courses and training days that assist you in your role as these will again adding gravitas to your application.
- References can be listed or you may add the line ‘References available on request’.