How To Write The Perfect CV

Returning to work outside the home after taking time away to raise a family or changing career can be quite daunting. Here's how to write the perfect cv.

Arming yourself with a CV that is up to date and is an effective sales tool to sell you, your skills and achievements is the first step to getting that job. 

Most people are aware that recruiters usually only take a quick glance at your cv when they are reviewing it. It is important to get it right and make a good first impression. There is no right or wrong way to create a great cv. It’s about trying to present your experience and skills in the best format possible for the job you are applying for.

For that reason, you may have a couple of versions of your cv, each highlighting different strengths that you have that are required for particular jobs. Here are a few tips to get your cv right.

  1. Contact details

    Always include a number of up-to-date contact details which include your home address, phone number and your email address to make it easy for employers to get in touch with you. Have a think about your email address. Was it set up in the past and what does it say about you? [email protected] is not exactly sending out the right message to your potential future employer! Something with your name is more suitable for a CV for example [email protected]

  2. Personal Information

    This is all the information beyond your contact details (above). Information relating to your age, civil status, family status etc. are not necessary for your cv.

  3. Employment history

    Try to make it as relevant as possible to the role you are applying for. Only detail the last 3 roles (unless there is something very relevant prior to that). An employer may shut off if they see too many roles. Try to keep your CV to a maximum of 2 pages. 

  4. Achievements

    As part of your employment history you should include what you achieved in each role. Now is not the time to be modest. This is a great way of selling yourself to any employer. For example instead of writing that your role included customer service and sales, detailing what you achieved as part of the role tells the employer how good you are at doing it. Exceeded the sales target consistently over a 3 month period. Remained among the top 3 sales staff in the shop. Received an award for superior customer service. 
    How To Write The Perfect CV

  5. CV Gaps

    Don’t dismiss your time away from the work-place as irrelevant to an employer. Tell them about what activities you’ve been involved in; fundraising, coaching your child's team, voluntary work, such as helping out at your child’s school, sitting on a school or housing committee, or employing your old workplace skills to informally help or advise friends.

  6. Education and qualifications

    Even though your education and qualifications may not be directly related to the job you are applying for, they are still achievements that an employer will want to see.

  7. Skills 

    Detail the skills that you are good at that will help you to do the job better.

  8. A simple format

    Keep your CV simple and clean unless you are applying for a creative job. 

  9. Good spelling and punctuation

    Always, always, always check your spelling before sending your cv off.

  10. Salary expectations 

    It is never a good idea to include these. You can speak about them at interview.  


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