Tips for Writing a Successful CV
You all seemed to really enjoy our blog where we talked about how to write your CV for a job in Further Education, so we thought we would expand on that with this latest post. You might think of a CV as a really boring piece of paper that you simply haven’t got time to update. However, it is key that you prioritise updating your CV if you are looking for new job opportunities. Even if you aren’t looking to move jobs, keeping your CV and your CPD record up to date will save you time further on down the line.
When it comes to writing your CV, there is no room for error. The job market is very competitive, so you need to stand out from the start. Don’t think that one size fits all. It is important that you tailor your CV to the specific job you are applying for. Let’s have a look through some tips on how to write a successful CV.
Think about layout
Every CV should follow a similar structure: name, contact information, professional experience, education & qualifications, and any relevant training or voluntary experience. It is important not to just create headed sections with all the details sat underneath in a long list. The person reading your CV will straight away be bored and yours will disappear to the bottom of the pile. When it comes to including information about your job roles, try and go into detail about the skills and knowledge you gained throughout these.
Focus on the language you use
A large part of the recruitment process is carried out using automation these days. Your CV will be scanned and filtered for specific keywords they are on the lookout for. If you are a newly qualified Assessor, for example, use language that is relevant to the role you are applying for. Including terms like ‘End-Point Assessment’ or ‘National Occupational Standards’ will make your CV stand out. Also adding keywords from the job description itself is always a good idea as this shows you have tried to align your skills and knowledge to the role you are applying for.
Don’t skim over any gaps
If you have periods of time in your life where you weren’t employed, don’t be afraid to say why. Maybe you left a full-time career to become a parent, or you decided to branch out into the world of freelance assessing. Or during your time out, you may have decided to shadow an experienced Assessor in order to improve your skills.
Be concise and relevant
It can be very easy to waffle on about how specific roles in one job made you a better person, but does your potential employer really need to know that? Not every role needs expanding upon, try to only add extra detail that is relevant to the job you are applying for. Remember people simply don’t have the time to scroll through 5 pages of information, so be concise. You need to keep to the point – using bullet points is a great way to discipline yourself. Two pages are the absolute maximum length, so make sure you cut out all of the waffle.
Proofread your CV!
Whilst it can be very tempting to send your CV straight out after you have written it, don’t rush. You have spent a long time perfecting this masterpiece so a couple more hours won’t do you any harm. If any spelling mistakes are spotted on your CV it will be dismissed straight away, before they have even read about your qualifications and work experience. It is always a good idea to read your CV out loud to yourself, as this will help you to pick up any grammar mistakes too. You could always give your CV to a friend to check – sometimes a fresh pair of eyes will spot something you may have missed.
Good luck for the interview
Now you have written the perfect CV, you will absolutely ace the job interview. Just remember to prepare yourself, research the company and arrive at your interview in good time. Don’t forget to smile too, it will help to calm your nerves on the day.