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How to write your CV, right


As we approach #NationalWritingDay which focuses on “changing life through writing”, we reflect on one of the most influential pieces of writing you’ll ever do. It’s the story of you! From Latin meaning “the course of one’s life”, your Curriculum Vitae has the potential to change the course of your working life. This can be an exciting or daunting thought, even for those of us who are used to communicating, talking and writing about ourselves can feel awkward or even boastful. So, what is the key thing to consider when writing your CV? For us, it’s the person reading the applications! Put yourself in their shoes – they probably won’t know you, and they probably will have a good quantity of CVs to review, so make life easy for them. Here’s how, with our Top CV Writing Tips, oh, and some good examples of writing too.
CV layout – Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
It can be tempting to go to great lengths to stand out, do things differently and be flamboyant. Trust us on this point, present your CV in a clear format. Keep to an expected layout and order of information to help the reader to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. Start with your name and contact details, a short profile overview, go on to education, qualifications, and employment history, most recent job, first. At this stage, you don’t need to include photographs or references. Just state that they can be provided on request.CV content – The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde

The reader doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of everything you’ve ever done. Your CV is a short story, not War and Peace, so be succinct. The reader is looking for facts and evidence, so include things like the software you’ve used and tangible info re your accomplishments. Instead of saying, “I have good experience in all sorts of social media”, say “Professional use of Instagram, reaching 100k people a week.” Do say where you’ll be commuting from, and it’s ok to simply explain any gaps in your work history, such as parenting career breaks, or travelling. Take time to review the job adverts and person specifications for the types of jobs you’d apply for, and make sure the information you include demonstrates that you have the right skills and experience.

CV check – The Oxford Dictionary of English

Proofread, spell check, and make sure all your information is accurate. Then repeat, then do it again! A top tip for proofreading is to start at the end and read each word back to the beginning. This stops your brain from making assumptions. Or get your software to read your CV aloud to you (use “Read Aloud” under “Review” in Microsoft Word). Always try to get someone else to read your CV over. They might well spot errors and omissions that you haven’t noticed. If you know a recruiter (ahem, that’s us) or a friend who’s a prolific reader or writer – they’re the person to ask. Someone who knows you is best, as they’ll be able to review if what you’ve written is reflective of your character and experience.

CV covering letter – A Life in Letters, PG Wodehouse

Here’s where you get to be a little more creative and personable, on no more than one side of legibly sized writing on A4 paper. Address the employer directly, write in the first person and specify the reasons you’re applying, what makes you suitable. Demonstrate your experience and the skills you’d bring to the role, including relevant soft and transferable skills too, such as emotional intelligence, or being the person that people turn to. Make sure you answer the question “Why is it you would like to work there, doing this?”. Be honest, if someone you know recommended you to apply, say so – and say why. A CV tends to remain constant for every job you apply for, your letter should adapt, it’s your chance to specifically show why they should choose you.

CV help – How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

Remember, you’re not alone. Let Brampton Recruitment be part of your working life story. We can help you to pitch your CV right, and will be right by your side throughout the job-hunting process – we might just be the catalyst to your next working chapter…


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