By Clive Dunne MSc. Director, Elk Recruitment
What makes a good CV you may ask. Despite the plethora of free information available, 1000’s of CV’s have passed my desk for junior and senior candidates and most of which are simply not presentable! To this day, it still baffles as to why a candidate would expect to get to an interview when it is quite clear to the employer that they have put little or no effort into the presentation/content of their CV.
There are a number of key ingredients in creating an excellent CV, but most of them fall under two very important headings which are Layout & Content. Layout is the visual impact & aesthetics of your CV. In simple terms when your CV is opened it must automatically please the reader’s eye and subconsciously lure him/her to engage & read this fine specimen of a document further. You can achieve this by ensuring the correct use of indentation, bullet points & bolding throughout your document but don’t overdo it.
In relation to the sections to be included, I find the following sections in this sequence most logical,
1. contact details
2. summary section (written in the third person)
3. qualifications, education
4. work experience
5. additional details. Keep your CV to two pages, max three.
Your content or text needs to be engaging, professional, up to date, has no spelling or grammatical mistakes and make sure that all of the information included is in date sequence starting with most recent. Your work experience needs to be in bullet point format not long paragraphs, as each bullet point gives you the chance to explain your responsibility in a key area and your impact within that area, for instance management of waste, reduction by 20%.
Most importantly your CV is never finished, you need to tailor your CV to suit each and every application you make. Read the job spec in detail and make sure your CV is clearly applicable to this job. Remember the importance of your CV, it’s your professional passport, get it right and you will certainly attend more interviews.