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With dozens or even hundreds of applications to get through, the average recruiter will hardly have any time to read your CV. So to maximise your chances of getting an interview, you need to provide all the information they’re looking for as clearly and succinctly as you can.
Here are five things you definitely should include if you want to create the perfect CV.
It goes without saying that you need to include your name, telephone number and email address. Make sure these contact details are up to date – and don’t use your work number or email if it’s going to cause a problem. It’s usually standard practice to include your home address as well.
If you have a blog or other website that might help your application – and that you’re happy to share with a prospective employer – then you could include a link to it here.
Some people also like to give their nationality, marital status and date of birth. There’s nothing stopping you including this information, although employers are required by law to ignore it.
Unless you are just starting out in your career, this is going to be the section employers are most interested in and should therefore make up the main body of your CV. You don’t need to go into detail about every job you’ve ever done – only the ones that are relevant to the position you’re applying for. Just make sure any gaps in your employment history are explained.
What information you provide here will vary a lot, depending on where you’ve got to in your career and what level of education you’ve achieved (and whether you’re proud enough of your results to share them with your future employer). Above all, you need to think about the level of detail that is appropriate for the role you’re going for. If you’re applying to be Chief Finance Officer of a global construction company, nobody’s going to be much interested in what you got for your GCSEs. However, most employers will want to get some idea of your level of educational attainment including any professional qualifications you may have.
Awards and achievements
Awards and other achievements can help your application stand out, as well as making for a good conversation starter in your interview. So if you’re lucky enough to have them, and they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s definitely worth including them on your CV. You may need to add some explanation if the title of the award isn’t obvious enough. You should also try to stick to achievements that are relatively recent. To have won a single award in 1981 and nothing since looks somehow worse that not having won any awards at all.
Other skills and interests
It is usually worth showing that you have skills and interests outside work. The key thing is not to overdo it. Keep this section short and sweet, and try to stick to things that are in some way relevant to the job. Your ability to speak fluent Spanish may well be worth sharing. The fact that your favourite artist is Picasso, not so much (unless you’re applying for a job at the Picasso Museum of course).
Now that you’ve got your CV in good order, why not put it to good use? We always love getting applications from talented people. So how about searching our current vacancies to see if we have a suitable opportunity for you?
If you have a question about a role, a business area, or the application process itself, please refer to our helpdesk.
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