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–°lear
26.01.2022

CV do's and dont's

Your CV is going to be our first interaction with a recruiter or potential employer.  As a result, it’s essential you make a good first impression.  With only seconds to grab their attention, the pressure really is on to make sure you stand out and inspire them to find out more.

Generally speaking, many CVs follow a similar format.  Unless you’re looking for a role within graphic design, you’re unlikely to have a very design-focussed layout.  Instead, your CV is going to be functional – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Here are our top tips when it comes to what you should, and shouldn’t do on your CV

DO

Keep it simple – Yes, your CV is your first chance to make a good impression, but that doesn’t mean you have to put every single tiny bit of information on it.  A recruiter isn’t going to read the entire document, so there’s no point in waxing lyrically about every task you’ve ever performed in every role.  Instead, focus on providing all the relevant information a recruiter is going to need in a clear and concise manner.  Ensure your CV is no more than two pages of A4.

Be logical – A quick internet search will show you there are many ways you can set out a CV, depending on your age, experience and industry you work in.  Again, keep it simple and present information logically.  A chronological approach is often the most useful – a recruiter does not want to search for your current or most recent role to find out what relevant experience you have. 

Think about format – Although you should limit your CV to two pages, that doesn’t mean they should be crammed full of space.  Consider how your information is going to look on the page.  Make use of spacing, to create clear separation between information.  Remember to use white space, as this will help draw the eye down the page, whereas walls of text can be overwhelming and off-putting.  Use bullet points where possible to present information as this is easily digestible.

Remember the basics – ensure you have your full name and all relevant contact details clearly listed on your CV.  Use a professional email address that doesn’t include silly nicknames (ilovemycat@email.com may be great for your friends, but not a potential employer), but steer clear of using your work email address!  Everything goes towards creating a good first impression, so pay attention to the details.  Ask a friend or relative to give your CV a once over, checking for typing mistakes or grammatical errors.

 

DON’T

Use the same CV – It’s true your work experience is going to be the same no matter what role you’re applying for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tailor your CV for each position.  Make sure you highlight the pertinent aspects of your work history, or skills for each role. 

Forget your cover letter – Whilst not every application will specifically ask for a cover letter, it’s always wise to include one.  This is a fantastic opportunity to clearly highlight why your skills, interests, previous experience and career goals align with this organisation and role – why wouldn’t you take the time to write a letter?  Just make sure it is proofed before you send it off.

Include anything irrelevant – You only have a maximum of two pages to highlight why you’re perfect for the role.  That’s not a lot of space when you really stop to think about it.  Why would you use any of that space to discuss your love of crochet or walking your dogs at the weekend?  Unless it’s relevant to your ability to perform the role on offer, don’t include it on your CV.