What do you NEED in a CV? It’s a question that we often find ourselves answering here at Eclectic Recruitment and we’ve certainly been in the same boat earlier on in our careers. What’s important? What isn’t? If you ask friends and family you can get conflicting answers which send you in a spin and back to where you began!

We’ve put together a hot list below of the absolute must haves and remember that sometimes less is more when it comes to writing a CV.

  1. Contact Details – This may seem obvious but you wouldn’t believe how many CV’s we see where people write the perfect CV and leave out any way to contact them!
  2. An honest employment history – It’s really important to show prospective employers what you’ve done before and the skills that you’ve learnt. Honesty is essential as interviews often focus on your previous employment from your CV.
  3. Education and qualifications – Employers will often focus on skills and experience first and foremost. However, education and qualifications can really give an insight into your passion about a particular industry or thirst for knowledge which is of course very important!
  4. An engaging opening paragraph – Unfortunately we see so many people get this part wrong and the bad news is that if you do, the person reading it tends to stop reading it right there. Make sure that you write an engaging introduction that highlights your career to date, strengths and aims for the future.
  5. The correct style and format – It’s always tempting to think that a flashy and creative CV will grab attention and put you to the top of the pile but unfortunately this is rarely the case. Of course you want your CV to stand out, but in a professional environment it’s what’s in your CV that counts. Keep it simple and avoid text boxes, graphics, borders and tables. For me, “Calibri” is spot on and is actually proven to be the font that secures the most interviews!
  6. Write it in the “first person” – It’s useful to write your CV in a positive “first person” perspective. Using language such as “I completed” or “I qualified in” allows the person that’s reading it to really get a feeling for your proactive nature and achievements.
  7. Don’t keep banging on! – If we had a pound for every time time we’d heard somebody talk about CV length we’d be millionaires! As a general rule, try to stick to 2 pages of A4 paper. It’s really important to make sure that you have everything in it and it may be slightly longer but you don’t want to end up with 4 or 5 pages if you can help it.
  8. SPELLING AND GRAMMAR – Hands down the most important point that we’ve made in this blog. Always make sure that you use spell check and have somebody run over your CV for any errors. If you get this part wrong then it often won’t matter how good the rest of it is as these errors are simply not acceptable in the eyes of the hiring manager!

CV’s certainly aren’t easy to write but if you stick to the guidelines above and concentrate on key skills then you will see more success. Before you send an application away, ask yourself if you would invite the owner of the new CV to interview!

If you have any questions about writing a CV or anything else recruitment related please give us a call on 01223 803055 or visit http://www.eclecticrecruitment.co.uk/contact/

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