Candidate Advice - Nine tips to strengthen your CV
Applying for a job at The Nottingham? Make sure that you’re application ready with these nine top tips to strengthen your CV.
1. Nail the basics
This sounds super basic, but it's important to nail it.
- Ensure that you clearly show your name and current job title at the top of your CV so that it’s obvious who you are and what you do. In terms of contact details double check that your phone number is correct and that your email address is professional and appropriate. Your name and a simple Gmail or Outlook address is fine.
- For your location, your town or city and the country is all you need, CVs no longer require your full address. For example, Nottingham - UK, will suffice.
- You don’t need your age or date of birth, the only dates on your CV should be from education or employment.
2. Don’t waste space
Use your name as the title of your CV instead of writing ‘Curriculum Vitae’ or simply ‘CV’ - the person looking at it knows that it’s a CV so you don’t need to title it as such and waste valuable space for your amazing achievements!
3. Perfect the length
A perfect length of a CV is two pages, be as concise as you can but of course give a lot of detail that’s relevant to the job that you’re applying for and how your skills are relevant. On to our next point...
4. Be tailored and relevant
Make sure that your CV is relevant to the role and tailored to what the job description are saying that they would like in a candidate.
- Add in a personal profile section, a short paragraph of a few sentences explaining who you are and highlighting your specific qualities for this particular job. Think about who you are, what you can offer the company and what your career goals are. A sentence for each of these will be enough.
- Avoid describing behavioural traits such as ‘good communicator’ - instead detail your specific skills and qualifications that would help you do the job. Think about what the job application said were the most important traits and qualifications and position these as most prominent.
5. Make it easy to read
As well as being not too long and tailored to the job you’re going for, make sure your CV is easy to navigate to clearly show which part of your CV is explaining your education, employment, skills etc.
- Use bullet points for lists like duties or skills and remember to take out minor duties that might not be relevant for this particular role.
- Make sure that a standard, easy to read typeface is used such as Arial or Calibri.
- Use strong section headings in a bold font to differentiate from the other content.
Simply stating that your references are available on request is enough for your CV.
7. The golden question
With each piece of information, ask yourself whether it is going to positively influence the person looking at your CV to ask you in for an interview. If you don’t think it is, remove or change the sentence.
8. Explain any gaps
If there are any gaps on your CV, explain them by adding them to your employment history with the time period and an explanation. Highlight the relevant skills or achievements from these time periods to explain the ‘time off’.
9. Proofread to check spelling and grammar
Finally, ask a friend or family member to proofread your CV for spelling, grammar and any repetitive words or phrases.
Good luck with your application!
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