Are you unsure of what to put in your CV, or how to structure it? Knowing what details to add can give you a strong lead on being called for an interview! Recruitment agencies and employers look for items that stand out at a glance. These can vary for different jobs. Recruiters are adept at seeking any gaps or discrepancies. The presentation of the CV needs to be considered. The structure to the layout should be clear and easy to read – providing a succinct story, from start to finish. Cover letters are similar to windows of a house. They provide a preview of the CV. It is similar to a sales pitch. Include relevant elements here from your CV, and information that relates to your experience and the job spec.
Some main elements to consider putting into your CV:
- Previous roles and responsibilities of previous employment, or volunteer work
- Experience to date – a brief overview
- Skill-set, including hard and soft skills
- Results and achievements in previous roles, include any that relate to the job spec
- Education achieved to date, including course work currently being undertaken or planned up-skilling courses in the pipeline. Evidence of continuous learning is more desirable in an application
- Keep bullet-points concise
- Ensure that content is consistent
- Including a profile headshot provides a personal connection
- References provide strength to the application, particularly if the recruiter would like to follow up on more information with a third party
- Including a LinkedIn link can provide additional pertinent information
Remember the CV must be clear in its presentation, easily scanned, and provide the relevant information for the role, including significant keywords. Ensure that dates are accurate and proofread for any typos. Structure the layout so that it’s visually easy to read. HR personnel should be able to review your CV in less than one minute. “Structure is more important than content in the transmission of information” – Abbie Hoffman.
A good cover letter should provide a brief synopsis of the CV and why the candidate is interested in the company, and the role being applied for. Knowing your CV details, and dates, ahead of the interview will provide you with consistency during the interview. Getting these steps right always provides a great first impression.