CV – The MOT of your working life – by Susan Reviere, Inspiring Enterprise Specialist
In our modern, sensory overloaded lives, getting to grips with your CV is a bit like putting yourself through a MOT – it needs to be done but you are not looking forward to it.
Having helped people with CV writing on a 1-2-1 basis at Job Clubs and through workshops run at local libraries, I understand the importance of making your CV engaging, informative and structured.
So where do you start?
Find a local Job Club you can go along to for assistance, where knowledgeable advisors will help to create your CV and covering letter template. Check out your local library or community centres, as often Job Clubs are run at these venues.
Another organisation to contact is the National Careers Service, with expert advisors across the region, they assist with CV writing through to skills profiling.
QUALITY not quantity matters
As far as the structure of a standard CV format is:-
- Contact Details – Name, mobile, email address, town
- Profile – Summary showcasing expertise, personality, career aims
- Key Skills – Bullet points of your skillset
- Key Achievements (where applicable) – Such as Employee of the Year
- Career History – Dates, positions, companies, responsibilities, achievements
- Education & Training – Academic, professional, technical, practical
- Interests – Activities and hobbies
- References – Available on request
However, to get into the mind-set for writing a CV yourself, consider the following tips:-
Avoid making a mountain of it – Writing your own CV can be a bit overwhelming. So take each section at a time and accept the first draft is just that, a draft that you will fine tune.
Avoid doing it when you are tired – Trying to concentrate when you are not firing on all cylinders, means you will be less focused and productive. This career defining document should be done when you are feeling fresh and clear headed.
Avoid cramming the first draft onto two pages – Remember to adapt the CV for the role. So write your CV and then edit to fit ideally 2 pages and, preferably no more than 3, using bullet points instead of long paragraphs.
Tailor your CV to the job requirements – always make sure your CV is tailored to what the employer is looking for by using key words from the job description in your CV, and importantly, relating them to your skillset. Employers often have to scan dozens of CV’s in a short time, so make sure these keywords stand out and help to make your CV read more easily when they are reviewing applications.
In summary, your CV should focus on the detail covering the most recent positions with bullet points for your earlier positions.
A CV is a MOT of your working life – make it work for you so it gets you the work!
Below are links to some other useful CV Writing websites resources.
- National Careers Service – https://bit.ly/2l6ByLN
- CV Library – https://bit.ly/2rEjpO8
- Reed – https://bit.ly/2jMGS9f
- Totaljobs – https://bit.ly/2vYZBC7
- Indeed – https://bit.ly/17Ruf3Q