CV tips

Always be clear that the sole purpose of your CV is to get you an interview, during which you can demonstrate (or not) your suitability for the job in question. Many candidates do not understand that hiring managers tend to get inundated with CVs and as a result they will often make very quick decisions on whether a CV is of interest to them or not.

  • Make sure that the CV is neat and simple in its layout. If a manager cannot quickly get to the information that is of interest to him or her then they will probably give up and start reading the next one.
  • Summarise your key technical skills on the front page underneath your contact details and education.
  • List your career history in reverse chronological order with your most recent role at the front. This is what a potential employer wants to read first. List clearly your job title, the dates of employment, the technologies that you used (do not list products that were installed at the site but that you had no involvement with) and most importantly the details of the particular role or roles you performed at that company. You need to try and sell yourself here!
  • There is a balance to be had between writing too much detail and not enough. The level of detail needs to be partially linked to the length of time you spent at the company and the number of different projects that you were involved with. It is not appropriate to sum up 15 years in 2 paragraphs or to write 2 pages about only 1 year of employment.
  • Overall we would suggest that your CV should not run to more than 3 or 4 pages of A4, perhaps 5 at the most. As a general rule, employers have little interest in the detail of what you were doing more than 5 or 6 years ago. It is overwhelmingly the work you have been doing for the last 2 years that they want to read about when deciding whether or not to call you in for an interview. This is where your effort needs to go on the CV.
  • List your hobbies and interests at the end of the CV, not at the front.
  • Either include a couple of referees or add a line at the end saying they are available on request.
  • Keep the formatting consistent and use bullet points where appropriate. Make sure you proof read and spell check – poor grammar or spelling reflects badly on the author of the document.
  • Listen to the opinion of recruiters on your CV. We read them all day every day and know what formats employers like to see and that are successful in achieving interviews.