If you are looking for your first job, you may not have much in terms of experience to include on a CV, if this is the case you may be better off using your Big Academy profile to showcase your talents. Upload your video answers and make your profile represent you in the strongest possible way!
A CV (or curriculum vitae for you anti-acronym purists) is the first thing a prospective employer will see of you, and unless it's up to scratch in all the right places, it's also the last thing. Creating a decent and, more importantly, successful CV is all about nailing that first impression and securing an interview, which itself is a whole other kettle of fish that we'll come onto later.
Good CVs can differ depending on what type of job you're applying for, but they generally all have the same core DNA in terms of what information they contain.
- Your Name: This is the big one guys and gals! If you don't get this right, it would be better to call this whole job hunting thing quits before you even start.
- Your Address: Useful to the employer because it tells them where they can send either a rejection letter or a wage slip depending on the success of the interview.
- Contact Number: Most likely the way the employer will contact you if they want to arrange an interview - or even better - to let you know that you've got the job! It goes without saying that you out to be getting this part right.
- Email Address: Occasionally used as an alternative to contacting you via phone. The thing to remember here is making sure your email address is as presentable as the rest of your CV. Put yourself in the shoes of the employer for a second and think which of the following email addresses is more likely to go down well. FriskyBadger212@gmail.com or LukeHarrison12@gmail.com?
- Personal Statement: Employers don't want to hire robots, they want to hire people. Letting the employer know who you are, what you're up to, what your hobbies are, and what you would hope to get out of the job gives the impression that you're a totally rounded person who has a life outside of the workplace and who will fit right in.
- Your Education And Qualifications: For better or for worse, this is where you show how you fared in the ruthless unforgiving gauntlet that is full-time education. Don't list every qualification you've gained since primary school, it's a waste of your time and they won't get read anyway. Keep it simple. List the best, leave the rest.
- Work Experience: This is where you list any work experience you have. The more the merrier, but make sure you keep it all related to the job you're applying for.
- Your Skills: Simply put, let them know what you can do. This section can differ greatly depending on the type of job you're after. If it's a retail job, do you have good people skills? Do you know the meaning of teamwork? Can you work independently when required to? If it's a more technical job, read up on what skills they're looking for and let them know that you fit the bill. For more arty jobs, a decent portfolio speaks louder than words.
- References: Here is where you share the names and contact info of people who can vouch for the accuracy of your (hopefully) awesome CV. Former employers and teachers/lecturers are the type of people you should be aiming to include.
A typical employer goes through CVs faster than England gets kicked out of the World Cup. It's all about making your CV look different. It's all about standing out from the crowd. Here's a few tips to make your CV worth a read.
- First Impressions Matter: The first thing the employer notices about your CV is how you've chosen to lay it out. Keep things clean, simple and easy to follow.
- Length Is Important: A CV should never be more than 2 pages long, and with all the important details on the first page. If you go overboard, the employer will get bored and move onto the next application. It's all about quality over quantity.
- Everybody Forgets About Presentation: How your CV is printed can make a big difference when it comes to your chances. Print the CV on decent paper, with a page number on each sheet, and with a personal handwritten signature at the bottom. For extra points, try getting your CV bound to give it that extra oomph.
- Sell Yourself: The point of a CV is simply to get you an interview. Don't be afraid to big up your strong points and spin your weaknesses into positives. This is war!
- Spelling And Grammar: Never underestimate the power of good spelling and grammar in your quest to secure an interview. It's not unknown for employers to dismiss applications based on poor spelling and/or grammar alone. Get it checked!