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How to Write A Professional CV – 2019 Guide

01/03/2019

How to Write A Professional CV – 2019 Guide

How to Write A Professional CV – 2019 Guide

Whether you are looking for your first job or trying to make a career change, it all starts with your CV. On average, recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing a CV, therefore focus more on the quality and relevancy of your content rather than the length.

So, what is it that employers want to see? Our guide will cover all you need to know in writing a professional CV in 2019.

By reading this guide, you will learn…

•          How to write a CV

•          What content to include, such as employment history, skills and achievements

•          Tips on how to write an effective CV

Remember, you don’t have to build your CV from scratch. A CV builder can provide you with a free template to work with, but more on that later.

So, Let’s get started...

What Is a CV

A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a detailed summary of professional experience and educational histories used for job applications

CV Format

The first thing an recruiter notices about any CV is the format. Does it look organised? Is it too short? too long?

These are some of the things you need to consider when writing your CV.

  • One - Three pages in length
  • Clear section headings
  •  Easy to read font

Your CV should be customised to each job opportunity that you are applying for, so you need to be precise with the information you include.

The most important content for your CV is:

  • Contact Information
  • Professional summary
  • Work experience
  • Achievements
  • Education
  • Skills

What contact information to include

Some of the most common mistakes in CV writing are related to contact information, so pay close attention to this section.

Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

DOs

  • As a minimum, include your name, phone number, email address, and the current location of residence.
  • Consider including social media profiles that are relevant to the position, such as a LinkedIn profile.

DON'Ts

  • Use an unprofessional email address, like Catlover96@email.com. Create a separate professional email that includes your name.
  • Include personal information, such as marital status, nationality or religious affiliation.
  • Include a photo if you are applying for a job in the United Kingdom.

 

Professional Summary.

The goal of the summary is to capture the recruiters' attention by showing that you are a suitable candidate. Showcase your achievements, skills/competencies or personal values so you stand out immediately - The rest of your CV is to back it up.

 

What to include in the work experience section

When employers ask for a CV, they’re basically asking about your work history and nothing else. Employers know what you did in general, your job title more or less speaks for itself. If you want to stand out from other candidates, you need to highlight your achievements, not just outline your duties and responsibilities. Plus, if you want your CV to land you an interview almost every time you send it, you need to personalise every job description to match the requirements of the vacancy you’re applying for.

 

#TIP. You want to avoid leaving any gaps in employment on your CV. If one of your previous roles doesn’t seem applicable and it came between two relevant roles, you still need to list it. But you don’t have to describe it in great detail.

How to include achievements in the work experience section

IDEAL

In charge of the full renovation of the property with a £3M budget. Completed the project two months before the deadline and respected the budget.

NOT IDEAL

Completed the property renovation before the deadline and within the budget limit.

What to Include In the Education Section Of a CV

In the education section of your CV, list the schools, colleges or university you attended. If you are a student or a recent graduate here you can include sub-sections for relevant courses taken, research/course projects, and academic achievements. This is how to create a CV without a lot of work experience

If you’ve been working for 20 years, you are best keeping the education section brief by listing your completed academic degrees from most recent to oldest.

 

What Skills to List on a Job Application?

Skill is defined as the ability to do something well or having expertise in a particular area. So, its understandable recruiters want to hire candidates with plenty of skills.

You have three types of skills recruiters want:

Employability skills - Qualities and attitudes that recruiters say are essential for their workplace.

For example:

  • Team work
  • Problem solving
  • Willingness to learn

Transferable skills – Such as customer service, sales, report writing

Specialist or technical skills – Knowledge of a particular computer program, teaching and medical skills.

 

 

CV writing #1: One CV DOES NOT fit all job applications

CV writing #2: Be selective with what you include - Avoid emphasising the same skills or experiences multiple times.

CV writing #3: Illustrate your achievements, not responsibilities and focus on accomplishments, not responsibilities.

CV writing #4: Before you send or upload a CV to apply for a job, it's important to proofread it so it's perfect. Your CV represents the professionalism that you would bring to the position you’re applying for. Even simple mistakes like a typo or grammatical error can cost you a job interview.

 

Here is a proofreading checklist to help guide you through this stage.

Proofreading checklist

Spelling Mistakes

  • Don't use words which you aren't familiar with.
  • Perform a spell check

Punctuation Mistakes

  • Check for period at the end of all full sentences.
  • Be consistent in your use of punctuation.
  • Avoid using exclamation points

Grammatical Mistakes

  •  If you begin a sentence with a numeral, spell out that numeral
  • Make sure your date formats are consistent (06th November 1984, or 06.11.84. Choose one and stick with it.).

CV Design

  • Don't overcrowd your CV; allow for plenty of white space.
  • Keep the number of fonts you use to a minimum

 

Using a CV builder

A CV builder will make it easy to fill in these sections and will normally include additional sections. The advantage of using a CV builder is you don’t have to invent an entirely new layout. Instead, you can customise a template.

myperfectcv.co.uk have Job-winning designs and expert written examples to help you build the perfect CV for any industry and land that dream role.