How to write a CV that gets you noticed? There are a huge range of different resources available to assist with the writing of a high quality CV. We have researched this topic in some detail and have identified some useful tips and information which can make your CV far more appealing. Here we will discuss some of the questions which are asked around the production of a CV including, are there rules to the construction of the perfect CV, how long should it be, and should I include internships and college jobs etc. In addition there are a wide range of different books, software packages and also CV writing companies which may be able to assist. First off we will start with the basics: What is a CV? A curriculum vitae (“CV”) or resume is your marketing tool to formally introduce yourself to prospective employers. In many ways you need to consider this your pitch document to potential employers, a CV is a sales document. As part of the CV you need to outline your experience, knowledge and achievements. The main purpose of the production of a CV is to get you to an interview with a potential employer. Basic template and getting started It is recommended that you structure the CV so that it is black and white, on single side paper (if you are printing it out). This way it is easy to read, easy to copy when required. Some individuals that we see like to send through coloured documents, we do not recommend this. Think of it this way, a CV is an extremely formal document, and there is a standard which has been set. It is important to include a summary at the top of the CV, recruiters and potential employers will definitely be looking at lots of CVs in relation to any employment position so you need to make sure that your key skills and experience is picked up straight away as opposed to being buried somewhere on the fifth page of the document! It is recommended to construct the CV in MS Word, with a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial. This way there should be less formatting issues, and also if your recruitment company wish to change the document then they will normally have access to MS Word.
It is not strictly necessary to include date of birth, marital status, number of children etc. This information will normally be required as part of the formal application process. Mission statement This is your opportunity to pitch yourself. Provide a high level overview of your features and benefits! This needs to be short, to the point and snappy. For example, “Corporate Broker specialising in Small Cap Broking, seeking to Join AIM Specialists”, or something along these lines. You need to target this for each opportunity so that it is relevant and captures the imagination. Skills Overview An overview of your skill set is extremely useful for both a recruitment company and also a potential employer. Employers and recruiters will have usually have a number of key competencies which they are looking for, and the skills area enables you to outline these. Break down your skills into subsectors as well, so if your previous experience has involved a range of different activities try to categorise them. It is important that you list a number of skills, as this will help your CV to get picked up when recruiters are searching for target employees, both in their internal and also external databases (job boards etc). Career History Put your most recent job first. Work through the title of the job, length of time employed and the company name. Explain what the company does and your role within the company in a succinct and focused fashion. Also include any key successes or achievements. Try and look at your time with your employers from their perspective, both in a corporate and management sense. You need to demonstrate that you have character and personality, but that you are ambitious and a high performer. Do not explain why you left jobs. Fill in any gaps, for example, a year out to go travelling. Go into the most detail with the most recent jobs. Use less space for jobs for historical jobs. Use positive statistics and detail where available, i.e. 120% of target at the end of the 12/13 year. Training List any training and professional qualifications which you have received.
Education List education in reverse chronological order, most recent first. Include qualifications achieve. Going into specific detail will matter less when you have been employed for a number of years, so you may want to say 10 A-‐C GCSEs or similar. Do not mention any negative information, so if you started a course but failed or didn’t complete it, do not mention this. Hobbies If you have a hobby that you want to list on your CV it can demonstrate personality. However, the standard swimming or going to the gym will not set you apart. Also, it is probably not wise to include going out and getting wasted on a Friday as a hobby! Voluntary work and charity work are always good to mention here. References We always recommend include the line “References are available upon request”. This gives you the opportunity to identify suitable references for a particular role or company. Covering letters The covering letter is as important as the CV itself. This is your chance to introduce yourself in a professional capacity. Introduce yourself, explain why you are applying for the job, if it’s in response to an advert, mention the where you saw the advert. Then the pitch starts. Provide a high level summary of your skills and what knowledge, expertise and benefits you will bring to the company. Research the company, and identify how you can help them to add value. Discuss specific detail (if you have any) on their product or service, or if not the market sector in which they operate. Make sure that the letters are personalised where they can be, and if possible address them to an individual. Mass mailing covering letters gets you noticed, but for the wrong reasons. Prior to sending Print off the CV and read it on a printed page. Spell check. Get feedback from friends, colleagues and family. Ask recruitment companies for their input, “is there anything that I should change”. Make sure that your CV shows you in a very positive light, highlighting key skills, successes and also gives a sense of your work ethic and determination.
Creating a CV that gets you noticed does take effort, but the returns can be extremely worthwhile! Written by Matt Lenzie, Matt is a Director of Platinum Recruit, the specialist broker recruitment business based in the City of London. Contact Matt directly for further details, email: matt@platinum-‐recruit.co.uk
Platinum Recruit, the broker recruitment firm provides a useful insight into how to write a CV that gets you noticed. Visit our website, htt...