Your CV is the first time that a potential employer will be able to assess your written presentation skills.
You’ll find lots of conflicting advice about the right length for a CV. For professional level roles however, one page is too short. Four pages is a maximum. Three pages is the optimum number. Present your career in reverse chronological order and devote the most space to your most recent positions. For roles that you were in 8-10 years ago, a single sentence or two may suffice. Remember to include a short description of your previous employers’ business (including industry sector and turnover).
Focus on your USPs
What makes you stand out from other applicants? Find a way of articulating succinctly your most unique, ‘value-adding’ skills and experience. Split your bullet points out into responsibilities followed by achievements. However, focus on those achievements that you were directly responsible for (as opposed to broader, more corporate achievements). Be truthful; don’t be tempted to embellish the scope of your previous role or experiences.
Some do’s and don’ts
Do include your contact details, languages and systems fluencies, any degree (including classification) and professional qualifications. List exams passed at school (with grades for A levels) as well as relevant training courses attended (including dates).
Don’t write a personal summary (most employers skip straight past these). Don’t include too many hobbies or interests (again, focus on what makes you unique).
Check it and then check it again
We’re serious: Really do check it. Not just for spelling and grammar, but in particular the dates of your employment and education. An easily avoided error here could cause an employer to reject you at interview because of a fear of ‘lack of attention to detail’. Your contact at Churchill Howard will be pleased to provide you with further CV advice as well as interview advice for each different position that we put you forward for.
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