CV Tips

Keep it real!

It’s common practice for a CV to be no more than two A4 pages in certain sectors however, we believe at FJA that all your employment history should go on so not to miss off vital work experience.  Bullet points are a good way to keep sentences short and sweet. Expand on your experience at Interview.

Don't Leave gaps

Leaving obvious gaps on your CV immediately makes employers suspicious, they may not give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it: Volunteer work, studying, career break to raise a family

Tailor your cv

We’ve all done it, sent the same CV out to lots of employers to save time… Stop! Take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out exactly what skills you should point out to them.

Include a personal statement

Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement to explain why you are the best person for the job. Honesty, integrity, confidence, team player etc.

Keep it up to date

You should keep your CV up-to-date whether you are looking for a job or not. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be important.

Proof Reading

Employers will pick up on mistakes so ensure you check and double check your new CV for spelling, grammar and employment date mistakes.  Also ensure it makes sense. Ask a friend or family member to check.

Evidence

Prove what a great candidate you are by including examples of achievements, improvements you made at work or problems you solved. Backing up your achievements with figures is a good way of selling yourself on your CV. When writing your work history, don’t just say that you increased sales; tell them you increased sales by 70% over a six month period. Stick to the facts as these can be checked by future employers.

Top Tips in brief

Style: concise, succinct. Think report style not novel. Use Ariel Font 11 or 12.

Layout: Keep it clear and accessible bullet points are a great way to get your experience across

Research: Find out exactly what the employer you want to impress is looking for, then write a CV that exactly matches their requirements.

Typos: Proof-reading is an art. You need to read one word at time. Print out your CV, mark any mistakes, read each word slowly and separately out loud, then ask someone to do the same, then do it again.

Gaps in CVs: Health, or raising a family – prepare an explanation which does not have to be an apology or defensive.

Jargon: Unless you know the reader understands the jargon of your current or recent roles keep it simple and straight to the point.

Opening personal statements/profiles: including one at all increases a reader’s expectation that it’s going to mark your CV out from the next one.

Interests and hobbies: A list of sports teams you were in, countries you’ve visited, films you’ve seen, do not on their own, convey you are an interesting person whom everyone will love and bond with. Be specific and relevant.

Dont's

Don’t be negative: Avoid any criticisms of past or present employers, or mention any difficult periods in your career history. Your CV needs to be very positive.

Don’t use a Photo: with your CV unless you are specifically asked to. It’s usually only relevant for work like modelling, promotions work or international.

Don’t rely on one CV: Expect to have a number of CVs that you change depending on the job you are applying for. Always tailor your CV.

Don’t use fancy layout: Avoid unusual fonts, columns, tables etc in your CV when writing it in a Word document. The formatting can so easily go awry when it is read by a recruiter.

Don’t be disheartened: If your CV is not being shortlisted. Talk to us, to check whether your CV is doing you justice and that it is a good match for the roles you have been applying for.

Covering letter: Always provide a covering letter or email to go with your CV, as it’s another chance to convince the employer of your suitability.

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