A Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume is a document that contains a summary of your educational qualifications, professional experience, and skills. It is usually required when applying for jobs and is used to determine whether or not you are qualified or suitable for the position.
Writing the document for job hunting requires some skill. However, those looking for jobs for the first time may find it challenging, especially knowing which credentials they should add. Here are some things to remember.
Breakdown key information into sections
As a rule of thumb, a good structure for your CV is as follows:
- Personal information: full name, address, email address, contact number and in some cases where relevant in more creative industries, links to your portfolio, website or blog.
- Work experience: in reverse chronological order (so your most recent job first), detail out all of the main jobs you have had. Be sure to include the dates of employment (month and year is usually fine), the employer’s name and location if relevant, your job title, and a brief outline of your main responsibilities. Importantly, add a few bullet-points of achievements, showing that you went above and beyond just your core responsibilities.
- Education: in reverse chronological order again (so your most recent qualifications first), detail out any courses/qualifications. Ensure you include the name of the college, university or educational institution. You’ll also want to include the title of your qualification (e.g. BA Hons Business Studies) and any grades you achieved. For qualifications like A-Levels or GCSE’s, where you may have a number of them, you could simply list them out with each grade next to it, so it’s all easy to read. Also try to include 1-2 bullet-points of achievements which make you stand out. Perhaps you were part of a student club or society, or won an award? Demonstrate that you went above and beyond your studies, where possible.
- Hobbies, Interests & Other Achievements: you can get creative here. Maybe you have a passion for sport and play for a club? If so, this is a great opportunity to outline this in your CV. Or perhaps you support a charity or local community group, or dedicate some time outside of work and study to something that you think your employer may find interesting? Try to tailor this section to the job you are applying for.
1. CV Format
Typically, CV’s should be a maximum of 2 pages. Check in with your recruiter to double-check what they recommend as some roles differ and they’ll know best what the employer is looking for.
If you’re struggling to keep to 2 pages, think about reducing any unnecessary information. If you’ve had lots of different jobs, or have multiple qualifications, list out the most recent ones, and pick a few of the most relevant ones further back in time. This will cut out some of the unnecessary information that the employer was unlikely to find particularly relevant.
Most people create their CV’s in a Word Document (MS Word, Google Doc or Apple Pages), and then save it as a PDF when they’re ready to send it. This reduces the risk of any formatting errors when they recipient opens the file.
2. Keep the Language Simple & Professional
You’ll want to list out some key details using bullet-points where possible. Keep sentences short and try to convey your key points in a concise manner. It’s a balancing act between getting across the right information, but doing so in a concise manner. There’s definitely a skill to it!
Avoid using slang words or sounding too informal. Remember, keep it formal and professional.
Step Back and Edit
Once you’ve finished your CV, take a breather and come back to it a bit later.
With fresh eyes, carefully read through it.
Does everything sound right? Have you picked up any typos, grammatical errors, or inaccuracies?
Now is your time to correct them.
It’s always a good idea, if you can, to ask someone to proofread it for you.
When you’re ready, save your CV as a PDF and check it one final time so ensure it’s formatted correctly.
As best practice, name your CV something like:
CV - [Date] - [Your Full Name]
Writing a CV is a process that requires a lot of time and effort. However, if applicants follow these tips, they can write a CV to help them stand out. Make sure to include all relevant information about your education and work experience.
In addition, you should also take the time to highlight any special skills or qualifications you may have. Finally, you should also be sure to proofread your CV before you submit it to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors.
Chimera Recruitment is a luxury retail recruitment agency covering London and other major cities across the UK. We specialise in finding employees for luxury retail jobs and helping high-end and luxurious retail shops in the UK. Submit your CV to us today and we’ll be in touch!