Tips for writing your first CV
If you’re going to be completing your studies soon, it’s important that you have a well-written CV ready that’s filled with all the relevant information. That sounds easy enough, you’re likely thinking to yourself. Anyone can write a CV. But that’s where you’d be wrong. It’s incredibly difficult to create a CV which tells potential employers everything you want them to know about yourself and why they should hire you. It’s likely you would be shocked to see how many poorly written CVs pop into the inbox of hiring managers daily. They are poorly written, filled with grammar and spelling errors, and don’t say much about why the candidate is a good one. A CV which is filled with the correct information will put you several steps in front of your peers. It’ll make sure you’re called in for an interview, which is not something many candidates qualify for. As you ready yourself for your first step into the working world, it’s important that you keep several important dos and don’ts in mind. Don’t go ahead with editing your CV until you’ve added these sections: • Personal details • Skills • Education • Work history • Achievements • References Here are some tips for creating the ideal CV which will help to get you that job you’ve been dreaming about. Give details of all the past experience you have It’s important, especially when you’re starting out, that you add all applicable information. So, where appropriate, make sure you add details of all past work experience. Be sure to add specific facts to describe your achievements at these previous jobs. Remember, whatever position you’re applying for, potential employers want to know how you’ve coped in similar situations and what you have to offer in the position. Explain why you’d be the right fit Many job seekers apply for every job they come across. They think if they throw enough CVs into the universe, at least one will hit the right target. But that’s the wrong way to think about job hunting. You need to be selective about the jobs you’re applying for. You need to be the right candidate for the jobs you're applying for and you need to check the boxes of what they’re looking for. Use your CV to explain to the potential employer why you’re the right fit, why you have the appropriate experience and why you’d be the perfect candidate. Give details about your employment timeline The information at the top of your CV should explain your current or last workplace. The list should then explain all employment history chronologically. It’s important that you not only list the years you worked in certain places, but also the months. Listing only the years is an easy way to hide gaps in your CV. And if you do have gaps, it’s important that these are explained. It’s likely everyone will have some gaps and periods of unemployment during their life. But you can easily put an employer’s mind at ease by explaining that you were taking care of an elderly relative or sick younger sibling. Bonus points if you used this time productively to study a short course or volunteer for a charitable organisation. Otherwise, an employer will look at those gaps in your CV and wonder why no one else took a chance on you. Remember, lying on your CV is never okay. Doing that is the kind of mistake which could lead to you seeking legal advice before you even have the chance to celebrate your first anniversary at your first job. Add just the right amount of personal information A potential employer wants to know where you live and how they can contact you. They don’t want to know about your love for cats and your obsession with Grey’s Anatomy. They don't need to know about all the details of your life right now, they can get to know you in the interview. Lastly, but most importantly, ensure your CV is free of any grammar and spelling errors. Those are often a reason CVs are disregarded right away. Make sure it’s not overly long or filled with useless information. Your CV should be, at most, two pages long. Any longer, and you’ve filled it with the type of information that no one needs to know. For extra points, make sure to add links to your social media profiles and portfolio. A potential employer will find these, so you may as well make it easy for them.