Advice on Writing an Effective CV

Why use a CV?

Curriculum vitae can be used for responding to an advertisement, making a speculative approach to companies or if a company does not have an application form. The main aim of a CV is to present you in an accurate and positive light, to encourage the prospective employer to find our more and to get an interview.

CV Preparation

Start by writing down all the details of your career including:
       Job Titles
       Starting and finishing dates of each job. Do not leave any gaps, if you were unemployed, did you travel, do voluntary work or raise a family during this time?
       Duties & responsibilities.
       Achievements - give examples of results that you are proud of, such as "I achieved sales person of the month consecutively of 3 months".
       Skills i.e.) word processing.
       Education - Name of School University etc and Qualifications.
       Other Training courses attended.

Size & Content of your CV

The appropriate size of your CV is of two pages of A4 paper, so there is no room for waffle. Decide what are the most relevant points for the position you are applying for?
       For a position that is very specialized or specific it is better to tailor your CV with information that is relevant to that company.
       Your CV need to be easy to read and interesting, use headers and short sentences or bullet point the information to make it clear and concise.
       Be specific.
       Use plain English; remember to keep it brief.
       Be Honest, this information is likely to form the basis of your interview and hopefully your employment.

CV layout & design

The standard layout of a CV would be as follows :-
       Full name.
       Address and postal code.
       Telephone number with the STD code.
       Date of birth.
       Employment History - list your employment starting with the most recent position first. Include the name of the company, dates of employment, job title and your responsibilities.
       Achievements should be in bullet point.
       Education training & qualifications - List all education details from secondary school onwards. List the exams passed, with the dates and location.
       Additional information - includes computer skills, word processing packages used, typing speed and any language skills.
       Hobbies & other interests - keep it brief and factual, try to show hobbies that would use the underlining skills needed for the job.
       References - Only include them if you're asked.
       Try to stay away from writing Curriculum Vitae at the top of the page; it is obvious to employers what the document is.

CV Appearance

Remember first impressions count, use a good quality paper and send an original not a photocopy. If you're applying for a position within art/design or public relations you can afford to be a bit more experimental.
       Take the time to check for spelling mistakes and errors; where possible get someone to check it for you.
       Use a word processor, get someone to produce it professionally if you can not do it yourself. CV services are often advertised in newspapers, but you will be charged a fee.