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How to write a first-class CV for the town planning sector

When writing a CV, your goal is to highlight why you’re the best candidate for the job. You need to have a CV that makes the right impact. You need something that will make employers eager to know more about you in an interview. The town planning sector requires highly skilled, dynamic professionals. Town planners must exhibit an ability to problem-solve and think creatively, starting with the application.

Include a strong personal statement
Starting the main body of your CV with a personal statement is a great way to showcase your talent from the off. The personal statement will be the first section a recruiter reads, so it needs to be attention-grabbing and snappy. Your whole CV is an opportunity to sell yourself, but the personal statement is a chance to carve out the finer details. You need to explain who you are, where your expertise lies and where your career is going. Think about including some keywords where relevant and always tailor your statement to the job description. No copy and pasting.

Highlight your skills
It’s important to highlight your core skills just below your personal statement. If you’re applying for a job in an urban designer role, you may reference skills using programs such as CAD software and InDesign. You might include that you have experience in site appraisals and landscape design. Your CV needs to showcase your expertise immediately, especially since recruiters will want to quickly scan through it and see what you can bring to the table. That’s why it’s best to include your skills near the top of the page. Make sure all the skills and work experience you reference is relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Support your skills with evidence
The next step is to back up your skills with evidence. This will add weight to your abilities and show the employers that you mean business. For example, rather than just saying you know how to use CAD, make a specific point about how you utilised that skill. If you have used CAD and Adobe CS for designing public spaces, let the recruiter know you’ve actually done this work. When you support your skills with evidence, it makes you a stronger applicant because you’re highlighting how you’ve used these skills on a project. Also, make sure you include links to your online portfolio and include references to projects you took academically.

Presentation
You need to make your CV aesthetically pleasing and it should be structured in a way that’s easy to understand. It needs to be laid out in a consistent, concise way, so the information isn’t difficult to read. It may seem obvious, but consistency is vital: be sure to use the same font throughout and employ regimented formatting when it comes to titles. The structure is going to be different for everyone, but make sure your CV is no longer than two pages. Skills should be in bullet-point form. In terms of the order, you may want to include sub-sections like ‘volunteering/work experience’ or ‘qualifications’, and then elaborate on your achievements. These sections are different for everyone, but having a clear and visually laid out structure is half the battle.

Create a quality CV for your next town planning job using these top tips. Most recruiters spend their days wading through CVs and cover letters. You need to put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes. Why should they hire you? If you take the time to construct a stand-out CV, you’ll be securing interviews in no time.

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