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Eight CV Tips

Keep it all covered
Providing you cover the following, you’ll be well on your way:

- Personal and contact information
- Education and qualifications
- Work history and/or experience in reverse chronological order 
- Key skills relevant to the job in question
- Career highlights/achievements/key projects you’ve participated in
- Interests or hobbies
- References

Keep it simple
Use simple language that conveys your message clearly. There’s no need to use an over-complex vocabulary to talk yourself up – your achievements should do that for you. Use active and positive words like ‘creating,’ ‘developing’ and ‘achieving,’ which also carry more impact when used at the start of a sentence. Convey your key skills in bullet points so that they are easy to read and stand out.

Keep it brief
Don’t use more words than necessary – the clue’s in the fact that you need to get it all into a maximum of two pages. You probably don’t read all your mail, and neither do employers. In fact, you often have less than five seconds to grab the reader’s attention, so you need to make an immediate impact. The employer’s eye will naturally be drawn to the upper middle area of the first page, so that’s where your most important information needs to be.

Keep it honest
Don’t exaggerate your responsibilities or achievements. If the company’s serious about giving you the role, they will check things. Be honest about any big gaps in employment – in the interview, you can always explain how you used a period of redundancy to travel, complete courses or pursue a creative interest.

Keep it tailored
Create a unique CV for every job you apply for. You don’t have to rewrite the whole thing – just work out how you can match each requirement on the job description and relate your skills to the role you’re applying for.

Keep it practical
Back everything up. You can no longer get away with making grand claims without providing examples. After all, it’s easy to talk a good game. Wherever possible, supply facts and comparative data to illustrate your key achievements.

Keep it interesting
The hobbies section isn’t just for mindlessly listing your favourite TV programmes. Use it to mention activities that highlight your personality or tie in with your professional life. Mention any positions of responsibility, such as running a sports team on the weekend. Make sure you highlight your passions and interests.

Keep it updated
Review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills, experience or courses as you gain them. Unless having a really good memory is one of your key skills, trying to remember something you did five years ago may be a challenge. Treating your CV as an organic, ever-changing entity will save a lot of time when you come to look for new roles.

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