Preparing a CV can be a pretty daunting task. There are many companies that offer this type of service, but if you want to save the money and take charge of this for yourself then here are a few key do’s and don’ts to bear in mind.
Do: Keep it short
One of the most common mistakes associated with CV writing is the length. A good CV should be no more than two pages long. Many of the most effective CVs are no more than a page. Restricting yourself in this way will ensure that you include only relevant information. The art of understanding and interpreting what is important is a fantastic discipline to acquire. Don’t be tempted to simply list everything you’ve ever done. By being concise and clear you will impress any potential employer and will just be sending them the things they need to see.
Don’t: Be inflexible
Every job opportunity with every company is different. With this in mind, you must be prepared to tailor and adapt your CV to each unique opening that you are presented with. It is no use preparing a rigorously researched CV for one position, complete with all relevant information for that employer, only to then use those pieces of information for every other opportunity. That risks putting people off. It may seem like extra work, but it will pay dividends, and result in helping you to think more deeply about the nature of the job that you are applying for.
Do: Showcase your experiences
It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the type of company or employer that you are applying to. For instance, a teacher looking for secondary school jobs or primary teaching vacancies should use any information that they can gain on a particular school, in the form of Ofsted reports or local news stories of events or successes, to inform what information they need on their CV. If a school has a particularly strong cricket team, and you have experience working as a cricket coach in your spare time, highlight this. Only effective and adequate preparation can reveal this kind of relevant information.
Don’t: Try togo it alone
It is a good idea to try to enlist some outside help. Everyone has to search for a job at some point and will be able to offer you tips that they found useful (or things to avoid). This can either be in the form of a friend or family member, or help from a professional recruiter. Returning to our teaching example from above, in this sector recruits can enlist the help of companies like EduStaff to give their application the edge, whereas those looking for a less specific type of employment could seek assistance from a company like Total Jobs. As with everything to do with CV writing, your approach depends on the sector that you are interested in. Think carefully about what type of roles you are applying for and whether or not you know someone in this field who can offer.