Should your CV last more than two pages? How honest should you be? Should you tailor it to suit online job boards? Here’s how to create the perfect CV.
Keep it short
Try to keep your CV relatively short – ideally keep it under two pages. For any attractive job, employers are likely to see many applications, so it’s unlikely that the fourth page of your CV clinches it for you.
There are many ways to free up space on your CV, such as leaving out the details of your references – simply state that they are available on request. Also, you could create a “Previous Employment” section for any roles that you had more than a decade ago (just list your job title, the company name and the dates).
Finally, it’s not necessary to create a long list of schools that you attended (just highlight the important stuff) and you don’t need to write paragraphs about your hobbies either.
Leave out the disappointments…
It may sound obvious, but it bears repeating; your CV is not the time to own up to any failures that you’ve had in your career. You might be asked about these things at the interview stage, but you can worry about that later. Basically, don’t weaken your successes by also mentioning the failures.
Don’t give the employer any reason to discard you at this point, so also leave out any poor exam results or disappointing past business ventures.
While you should never lie on your CV, you don’t have to mention anything that could possibly lead to you being discriminated against. Therefore, it is not essential to include information such as your race, date of birth, marital status or any disabilities.
…but don’t leave gaps
Big gaps in your CV can be a warning sign to any potential employers, so don’t give them a reason to presume the worst about you.
Also, don’t be tempted to exaggerate (or flat-out lie) about previous job titles, salary or dates of employment because employers may check your CV’s accuracy. And if it turns out that you bent the truth too far, then they may have the right to fire you.
Think about keywords
Although it may not initially strike you as being an important part of your CV, it’s certainly worth thinking about which keywords you use. More and more recruiters now use online systems or job boards to search through CVs, so if you haven’t got the appropriate keywords in your CV, then you won’t show up. To give yourself the best chance of being detected, research the words used in similar roles to yours and work these into your CV’s summary section.
And you’re done
So that’s it. And when you’re happy that your CV is as polished as it can be, make sure you upload it to the good folks at C&M Recruitment Consultancy. Best of luck!
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