Start by spelling Curriculum Vitae correctlyEveryone has an opinion about CV’s. Does it have too many pages? What should I say about myself, if anything? Should I have more padding in the content? Should I add my date of birth or family details? Should I mention the company first, or the job title? There are hundreds of questions about CV’s in addition to the few mentioned here. Before considering how your CV should look, think about who’s going to read it. Are you applying for your first job? Are you thinking of a move and planning to forward your CV to a recruiter or headhunter? Whatever the circumstances, one thing is fairly vital; spelling, correct spelling and grammar. I’ve seen CV’s shredded by hiring managers because of basic spelling errors. The magical spell-check isn’t magic at all. Don’t rely upon it. Ask someone to look over your CV, once you have a draft version and wait for the comments. HG Wells said; “No passion is greater than the passion to alter someone else’s draft.” Expect some feedback and take note. Once you have the spelling correct, think about the layout and the font type and size. Given that most recruiters and hiring managers will only look at your CV for about 6 seconds on average, means that you really should get your point across quickly. Should I add a photo? That’s up to you. A study into photo’s on CV’s concluded that pretty females were excluded from a company as the HR managers, who are generally female and didn’t want pretty women in their business ! It depends on who is hiring and whether you think by adding a photo is a help to your potential employer. Given that Linkedin feature profile photos, I don’t see the problem in adding your photo to your CV, even if you are ugly. A link to this article is at the end of this blog. Personally, I like CV’s to be simple, covering no more than 3 pages, no matter how long you have been on the earth. Keep it simple. Job title, employer, location. Your name, no middle names, at the top, clean and sharp. Your address – somewhere on the document, usually beneath your name. Your contact info: Home and Mobile numbers and your personal email address, not work. The most current/present employment details starting first, going backwards in time down the page; Personal statement – Up to you. Most employers aren’t bothered enough to interpret the words you have used to any meaningful degree, so again, keep this paragraph short and sweet. Avoid the usual; team player, can work on own initiative, highly motivated, passionate, can-do, etc. I would sooner see someone with initiative. Create the CV for the job application. Think about what the employer requires and consider how many similarities or experiences you have to match. Keep referee details for when you need them. These are simply a target for recruiters to approach and engage with, by linking you to their call or discussion. This could have dangerous consequences. Age is not required as the employer will work it out from the jobs you’ve held and often any qualification details you provide. If you plan to stay within a certain type of employment, or industry, keep the most relevant information in focus. Summarise the least important jobs in one-liners. Good luck. I hope this has been useful. Link to Photo CV study
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