This should be simple and contain your full name and the title Curriculum Vitae or CV.
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First impressions count – and your CV will determine the first impressions that prospective employers form of you. It’s vital you get it right because a good CV will ensure you get noticed and ultimately secure you an interview.
There are no definitive rules for writing a good CV, but there are some basic guidelines you can follow to ensure your CV is presented professionally.
For maximum impact, your CV should follow a logical layout with headings and section breaks.
Use bold text and bullet points to ensure you highlight specific information.
Emphasise your relevant skills and experience, tailoring your information to the specific job application.
A CV should not exceed 2 typed A4 pages.
This guide takes you step by step through one of the CV layouts that we recommend to candidates. The first page of many CV’s focus on personal details and education – however, it is your employment experience and ability to do the job that is most significant to recruiters and prospective employers. So this layout follows a style you may not be familiar with, but it presents your strengths and key skills in the most relevant and effective way.
This should be simple and contain your full name and the title Curriculum Vitae or CV.
This is an optional section and can be used to indicate your career aspirations for your specific industry, and to convey in a positive way why you are seeking a career move. Be aware however that a poor personal profile can do more harm than good, so don’t try to be clever. Avoid terminology that has no relevance to your CV, for example, and steer clear of clichés and buzzwords. Use your personal profile to honestly reflect your skills, experience, attitude, and behavior.
Your key achievements form a key section of your CV. It needs to really engage your prospective employer – so use facts, figures, and timescales to demonstrate that you are a competent achiever in your current and previous roles. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself, but substantiate your claims with solid evidence. For example:
Using bullet points makes your achievements easier to read – and remember to use strong words that demonstrate what you actually did, words like led, organised, designed, formed, developed, significantly improved/reduced, successfully created and so on.
The achievements you select for this section should reflect a number of different competencies, tailored to the job for which you are applying. Don’t simply focus on the financial and sales element of your position, for example, and completely overlook your achievements relating to people management or customer service, or it may raise doubts about a lack of people skills. Finally, compare your achievements to the results of your colleagues whenever appropriate to convey the real impact of your contribution – this adds a useful perspective to your achievements and enables the reader to more fully understand what you have to offer.
Your career history is a compact summary of your employment history and the responsibilities that you held in each post.
Start with the most recent or current employer, detailing the month/year you started and finished, together with the company name and location as shown below. If you had a number of different roles within the same company, list the dates and then detail the specific roles and responsibilities below.
For every position held, summarise the key facts and figures below each employment entry – include details about the size of your team, turnover, square footage and the number of units for which you were directly accountable, if relevant. This is critical information and helps an employer or recruiter to correctly assess your level of experience.
Jan 2002 – Jan 2004
Feb 2003 – Jan 2004
Store Manager, Leeds
Jan 2002 – Feb 2003
Assistant Manager, Bradford
For clarity, your key responsibilities should be bullet-pointed – and remember to include any extra responsibilities that would make you stand out from your colleagues. Don’t make the mistake of confusing key responsibilities for a full job description. If you are a retail store manager, for example, the very nature of your role will indicate to a prospective employer that you have key holder responsibilities. However, if are a supervisor, the fact that you have keyholder responsibilities may not be immediately apparent and can be listed.
Finally, explain any gaps in your employment history by detailing the dates along with a short, concise sentence providing the reason why you were not working – traveling the world, for example, or spending time with family.
Present your most recent qualifications first, providing details for your most important and relevant qualifications – reduce this detail for less significant qualifications. Detail all relevant courses or company training you have received by the date and course title.
Your personal details comprise your full name and title, your postal address and full contact details including your e-mail address, home, mobile, and work telephone numbers. You should also include your marital status and state whether you have a full, clean driving license.
You need to supply two references – and ideally, one of these should be your current or most recent employer. Rest assured, they will not be contacted without your permission being requested. However, it demonstrates that you are comfortable with the referees being contacted at the appropriate time.
It is imperative that you fully proofread your CV to make sure that you have accurate spelling and grammar. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or relative to read your CV for you.
Your CV should look standardised, so avoid using fancy fonts and stick to a standard font size of 10/12. Print it on white paper and use black ink, colour formats rarely impress and can detract from the real message you are trying to convey.
If you like our suggested layout, you can download a CV template (Word.doc) which you simply fill in and send back to us. We would prefer to receive your CV by email, but if this is not possible, please refer to our full contact details.
Having reached this stage of the selection process, you need to ensure that you do yourself justice – and preparation for your interview is the key to achieving success. Your interview is your chance to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have the right personality, qualifications, experience and relevant proven track record, and that your recruitment consultant was right to recommend you for interview with the company.
Whilst it's natural to be nervous at an interview, hopefully, these top tips will help you feel prepared and confident and allow you to shine.
Review the Job Description, its a list of the qualities and background the employer is looking for from the ideal candidate.
Plan for questions such as why you want that specific role and what strengths you can bring.
Practice a confident and strong speaking voice and friendly, open body language.
Job interviews are stressful for many reasons, but getting to the interview can be a challenge in itself.
Hopefully, if you have made it to an assessment centre you’ve already completed a basic level of research regarding the business, but before you attend its definitely a good idea to take a look over this again. With some industries evolving daily you never know what today’s breaking news could be – you don’t want to be the only one in an assessment unaware of your prospective employer’s latest news!
As with any job interview, make sure you are familiar with the competencies for the role and try to demonstrate these throughout the assessment but make sure you stay true to yourself! Use the quick tips below to help you on your Assessment Centre day.
Think about how you’re going to introduce yourself to the assessors and fellow participants.
Be open to the views of others, demonstrate your listening skills through your body language.
Try to enjoy the assessment centre as an experience in itself which will enhance your self-knowledge, regardless of the outcome.
Let your natural personality show. Don’t try to second guess the sort of person you think the employer wants.
Psychometric tests are used by employers to find candidates with the relevant skills, intelligence, personality, and cultural fit for their business. The profile they’re going to build will allow you to show that you can solve problems, you are a team player, and that you will fit into the culture of the business.
Whilst initially psychometric testing can seem quite daunting there are many things you can do to help yourself prepare for any testing you are about to undergo. Use the quick tips below to help you conquer your test!
Most psychometric tests are timed, keep track of how many questions you are completing within the timeframe and plan your time effectively.
Most numerical tests will allow the use of the calculator. Make sure you are well prepared with all the tools you need before you start the test.
Familiarise yourself with the typical content and format of psychometric tests, this will give you a significant advantage.
Not all jobs take the same kind of test, the level of quality and content of the test will vary depending on the type of role you applied for.
There are a lot of free online psychometric tests that you can use, so take advantage of those! Use websites such as Glassdoor to see what kind of psychometric test you might be asked to do. Some companies use aptitude tests, whereas some use personality tests. By practising both of these you will set yourself in good stead.
So, you’ve been for an interview and you’re waiting for the feedback; this is possibly one of the most testing parts of finding a new role. One of the hardest things to do is wait, be careful not to bombard your interviewer with questions or chase an outcome prior to the agreed time frame that was set.
Whatever the outcome of the call following your interview, make sure you're prepared for how to handle it using the quick tips below!
Following an offer of employment, you should always express appreciation and ensure the employer knows how interested and excited you are about the prospect of joining the company.
Ensure you carefully review all aspects of the offer and consider this against any competing offers you may have as well as your current role.
Decide how you will respond, if they sent you an official offer email it’s acceptable to send your acceptance back in an email reply. Equally, if you agree to call the interviewer then go ahead.
Whilst we would hope that you are successful in any interview you go for, please use interviews as a learning experience and take feedback on board in an open manner.
Let’s take a further look at how to respond to your post-interview correspondence!
Congratulations! You’ve landed the job of your dreams and now comes the dreaded conversation with your current employer where you have to let them know you’re leaving. The best advice we could give is to make sure that you leave in a positive way and on good terms, don’t burn any bridges!
Make sure to handle your resignation in a professional manner and follow the processes and procedures set out in your contract or company handbook. Use our quick tips below to help you through this process!
Write a professional letter of resignation, this doesn’t have to be long and you don’t have to go into detail about your reasons for leaving.
It can feel like an awkward conversation to have, but once you’ve decided to leave, it’s going to happen at some point.
Even if you get on well with your boss and they’re usually friendly you should still prepare for a negative reaction.
Don’t tell anyone else you have decided until you’ve had a conversation with your boss. Even if you think you can trust your colleagues, office gossip is inevitable.
Let’s take a further look at how to approach your resignation!
You can download our Resignation Letter template (Word.doc) here! You will find two different letters on this document; one for simply resigning, and another for resigning and negotiating your notice period down.
Just when you have gone out and found the perfect new job, gone through the tough stages of interviewing and have been offered your dream role, upon resigning from your current position, your employer could make you a counter offer leaving you in a state of confusion.
In today's competitive job market, counter offers are becoming more common as companies strive to keep the valuable talent they have developed rather than starting again from scratch. However, in many cases the counter offer benefits the company more than the employee. Here are some quick tips around dealing with counter offers!
It’s important to weigh up the new internal offer as thoroughly as you do the external option.
In our experience, most people who accept counter offers find themselves looking for a new job a few months later.
If you do accept the counter offer that results in a substantial increase in salary, you may end up being overpaid.
Although it may be flattering to receive a counter offer, along with this comes confusion.
The counter offer situation can be a tricky one to handle and will take some careful consideration on your part. Make sure you fully think about the reasons behind beginning to look for a new role, is any of that really going to change if you decide to stay?
Starting a new job can be scary. Sometimes, entering into a new work environment can make you feel as if you step foot on another planet. In order to succeed, both socially and professionally, you’re expected to learn the culture, follow the dress code and pick up on the acceptable behaviours as well as mastering your daily role.
Use these quick tips to get settled into your new role and make the most of your probation period!
It’s important not to forget the reasons why your employer decided to offer you the role.
Try and make time to get to know your teammates during your first few weeks and find out more about them.
Get organised and start good habits, this job is a fresh start and a good opportunity to shed old habits.
As much as you’re likely to want to hit the ground running, you can’t expect to be an expert in your first few weeks.
Let’s take a look at some things to consider when starting your new job.