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Job Blog: Tips and Tricks CVs

Everyone at one point in their life will need to find a job, and to secure an interview the first step is to have a great CV. CV writing can be hard, especially if you are taking the information from a job center, best information try not to take all the information given from a job center to literally. A good start is to prepare a Personal CV - this is a CV that has all your information on such as all the jobs you have had, experience, skills, hobbies and qualifications. It is an idea to write this CV as if this was the job you want if you could have any job. This is a good starting point as it makes it easier to create a CV for any job your applying for. All CV's need to have the following information in them;

  • Name, Address, Phone number and Email address
  • Personal statement
  • Key skills and Achievements
  • Employment (Latest first)
  • Work Experience (especially if you have no previous employment)
  • Education (Latest first, with exceptions for degrees)
  • Personal Interests (optional)
  • [References on requests]
These are important within a CV, and should be listed in this order. These key aspects are not the only thing  to consider in a CV, you need to consider the font and font size. Inconsistent font and font size is a no when it comes to CVs, try to keep the font the same and try to go for a basic font such as Arial. The font size should be about 11 with a larger name title and bold headers. When the font looks the same it will give the CV a professional look.

When writing your personal statement consider you skills and attributes, especially ones which would be useful within the job your applying for. This statement needs to be about the size of a short paragraph, it is where you can sell your self, so try to think positive. Good things to put in this part are things like IT skills and attributes like being Trustworthy, but always expand on these points as it give the employer an idea of who you are. Your Key skills and Achievements need to be preferably bullet points, just a few points but with explanations to them. So put down if you did a degree, and even put things that will be useful within the role your applying for, as these show up on the CV a lot more than having them in you personal statement.

Your employment is a key aspect but don't worry if you have never had a job before as work experience can be accepted in this area, if you don't have any work experience then draw more on the key skills and achievements. With this section you need to put your latest job first and go down from there, if you have had a lot of jobs only put down the 5 latest jobs you have done, but in your personal CV you can put all of them down. The reason you only put down the 5 latest jobs is that it can look like you job hop and don't stay in a job for to long, and employers want someone who will stay in the job and not leave after 6 months. Always write down what you job title was, years you worked (ie/ 2012-2013) and the company you worked for. It is a good tip to write a little bit about the company you worked for as it can show more of the person you are, especially if the company were known for employing trustworthy hard working people. Don't put too much information about the company, but just enough to show the person you are. After this talk about your roles and responsibilities within you job. This is the same for work experience, try to talk about things that you were good at, skills you learnt and skills you have improved on.

Education comes after this, and you need to know what qualifications and certificates you have still in date. GCSE's have suddenly received an expiry date of 5 years, now I didn't know this and in all fairness I will still put my GCSE's down as they are a part of my life. to combat these expiry dates companies to require you to take a basic skills test on maths and english. Knowing whether your certificates have expired is crucial as putting down on your CV that you have a First Aid certificate and it is expired means you need to take first aid again and the company might not want to put you through it. Just like the employment section, you need to put your qualifications in order of latest first. However, there are exceptions as you can put a degree first if you have taken basic skills or certificates after. This is because it is a bigger qualification and if relevant to the job you are applying for, will highlight it to the employer. You don't need to put down all your grades if you feel that they are too low or you are not happy with them. Putting down that you have 6 GCSE's grade A-C is fine as long as you state that they are in Maths, English and Science.

Personal interests is an optional paragraph, as you don't need to put this in your CV. However, it does show off your hobbies and interests if they are relevant to the job you applying for. These interests can also be a talking point within an interview as they can bring them up. If you do decide to write down your personal interests, don't just write down what they are ie/ reading, travelling, ect. try to talk about why they are your interests. There is nothing wrong with writing down that you enjoy travelling, however, make sure you say you enjoy travelling for holidays. By not using the word holiday, it looks to an employer that you may be spending 3 or 6 months out of a year travelling and not working, once again employers don't want someone who won't be at work all the time.

Finally end your CV with the saying 'References on request'. This shows that you have references ready for them if and when they ask. Don't leave this part blank as it can seem like you don't have any references, even if you haven't had a job before still put this in as you can get another student or teacher to be your referee. Also, don't put down your referees as this can be part security and part waste of time. As putting other peoples details down can open them up to fraudsters and if the CV was to be scraped it could find itself into the wrong hands. So bare this in mind, keep a record of the potential referees.

If you follow all these steps and tricks to CV writing you should be in for a win.So keep your fingers crossed and hopefully you'll be having interviews in no time.

Stay tuned for my next tips and tricks

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