Here are the insider tips and tricks for writing a great CV, by Nina Carpanini.
It is important that your CV clearly highlights your previous experience relevant to the job you are applying for and states which qualifications you are currently studying towards. Although there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to writing a CV, following some simple guidelines will dramatically improve your chances of standing out and securing an interview.
Writing a CV is your sales pitch to the employer and your personal statement is your opener. This should sit below your personal details. It is crucial to keep your formatting consistent. Limit yourself to the most relevant work experience and list employers and job roles in reverse chronological order. You will need to include company name, address, job title and responsibilities and stick to this format consistently throughout.
Focus on your competencies. Never lose sight of what potential employers are looking for - match their technical and personal competency requirements and you’re off to a solid start. This means studying the job description and person specification carefully.
It is crucial to employers that potential employees have a balance of qualifications and experience and can really demonstrate their added value to a company, you will need to clearly highlight this on your CV. It is crucial to list your key achievements not only past responsibilities. Next, state the turnovers of businesses you have previously worked for as this is a good indicator of your experience, also include team sizes and reporting systems. It is useful to include your level of proficiency on excel and then any additional IT and language skills. As for referees, it is sufficient to mention that these are ‘available on request’.
Make sure you can explain all gaps in your employment history as these tend to set off alarm bells and if there is one area that interviewers will try to probe, this is it. While you don’t have to include reasons for leaving a job, you may be asked about this at interview.
Job done. Not quite. Your CV needs be accompanied by a covering letter
, which again needs to emphasise your skills in relation to the employer’s competencies and the role you’re applying for. Your cover letter is the first thing a recruiter will see, so it is essential that you introduce your CV and explain why you are perfect for the role in the best way possible.
If you’re stuck for ideas, register with a reputable recruiting business and your consultant should be able to assist you. And finally, don’t forget to run a spell check and ensure that those competencies are working hard for you: in your personal profile, work experience and covering letter.
Nina Carpanini is Senior Manager at Hays Accountancy & Finance