Post 16 directory
Our top CV tips
We don’t need your life story!
Usually a CV should be no more than two pages – and that’s two pages of A4 paper! Employers spend an average of under 10 seconds looking at a CV. Keep it punchy and to the point. You can always cover small additional details in the interview.
Have multiple CV’s
Yeah, we get it, bad enough to make one good CV, why makes lots? Stop!
Take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Even if you just make a few small teaks that focus more on the job or the company you are applying to it will make a huge difference. It’s worth having a couple of standard CV’s focused on slightly different jobs that you are considering.
Make it look good
Don’t worry about making it look like you are applying for a position as a graphic designer (unless you are of course!), but make sure your CV looks smart. Now, that doesn’t mean that your CV needs to be covered in graphics, just that it should be neat and organised. Choose a smart font and stick with it and make good use of white space; employers do not like to read long walls of text.
Don’t leave gaps
Obvious gaps on your CV immediately makes employers suspicious – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt as they have lots of other CV’s to look at. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Did you take a course, volunteer or look after a realtive; all of these are fine to put on your CV.
Just don’t leave big unexplained gaps.
Make no mistakes
There are probably many mistakes on this page but luckily I already work here. If you hope to be equally lucky you’ll need to check your CV multiple times and look for grammar and spelling mistakes. Spelling in particular stands out in these days of spell checking. It doesn’t matter the job you are applying for mistakes are just a big no-no, consider asking a friend to give it a look over for you.
Tell the truth
We know that everyone lies on CV’s don’t we? Well, don’t be one of them, it’s fine to focus on the positives but never outright lie on your CV. Whether you are caught out in interview or end up in the wrong job this just isn’t a good situation.
Focus on YOU
Even if you worked for somewhere as prestigious as NASA or Bristol City Council (that’s about the same isn’t it?), remember to focus on your work achievements and the things you actually did than what was accomplished by your team. these are the key things that recruiting managers will be looking for.