Our Top Tips to Perfecting That CV

Today’s job market is as challenging as ever, but that’s why we’re here.
We all know that our CVs are the first step to landing that dream job and we want to help you remove all of that self-doubt you’re harbouring and own who you are. So take a look below at our top five questions to ask yourself when struggling to write up the perfect resume.


Question One: Have I included all essential information?

Before writing up any CV, think about all of the basic information an employer would need from you.

On average, employers spend no longer than 6-8 seconds when looking at a CV. So it’s important that they can locate all key information within that time and remember – keep all personal details at the top.

Here are some tips on what to keep in mind:

What to include

  • Name
  • Profession or industry
  • Where you’re based
  • At least one form of contact, preferably an email address

What to avoid

  • Writing ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ as the header
  • Age, photo, etc.
  • Incorrect/unprofessional contact details

Most applications are now online, so try to avoid giving away too many personal details. Additionally, if your email address isn’t appropriate for work – create a new one. This is a great way to store all work-related emails in one place.


Question Two: Do I have long-term career gaps?

Today’s job market is as difficult as ever, so don’t feel embarrassed about being out of work for so long. Be upfront and honest, whatever your reason, most employers will understand. Don’t be ashamed of your experiences. Own them.

Here are some tips on how to explain your gaps:

  • Stay-at-home parents/caregivers – add these roles in as a job. State the year/length and title.
  • Other personal reasons – try adding a short paragraph at the top of your resume explaining your reason for being out of work. Consider highlighting the positive outcomes and skills that have come from this time out of work and how you can transfer them into your new role.

Explaining your excuse for being out of work on your CV shows the employer you’re serious about your job search and eliminates the questions that arise when reading your application.


Question Three: Who am I applying to?

Try to stay focused on the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying to multiple jobs, remember that no two roles are alike – so neither should your CVs be.

Here are some tips on what to think about:

  • Researching target roles – this way you’ll get a better idea of what your own résumé should sound like
  • Applying to a specific job? Look at the job description and ask yourself “does my CV answer any of these requirements?”
  • Consider creating a master CV detailing everything you have done and then highlight the relevant experiences for each job that you’re applying for

Most employers can tell when you’re sending out a generic CV, so tailoring them to fit specific job roles and industries add an extra layer of professionalism.


Question Four: Is it up to date?

Avoid sending out old CVs – employers can tell. Your future boss only wants the best person for the job, so if you’re sending in an old dusty resume, what do you think that’s going to tell them?

If you haven’t updated your CV in 5 years, chances are you’ve had a whole new set of experiences and an even bigger set of new skills to show off. So it’s time to show off.


Question Five: Does this look like me?

We know it can be hard putting all of this information in one place, and it’s even harder knowing what layout to put it in. But hey, welcome to the 21st Century! There are so many templates available online now, so unless you have zero access to the internet – there is no excuse as to why you can’t use one.

Remember that your CV is a reflection of yourself; this is how an employer meets you before ‘you’. So make sure it’s neat, presentable and think about those final touches that makes it your personal resume.


Now here’s one more tip for the road!

Always always always proof read your CV before sending it in, alternatively, have a friend do it for you.


If you feel like you need more help, take a look some of our partner organisations here.

We recognise that often no one organisation can suit all the needs and often complex requirements of one person, so through our partners we work together to meet the needs of people who are struggling to get into the job market or training. So feel free to get in touch with any of our suitable partners, and they’ll see how they can help you get back into work!

Okay, so how about three more tips from our partners over at CYN?

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