Pursuit’s CV Masterclass – Our Top Tips and Advice

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Getting your CV right can make or break your chances of being successful when applying for new employment. We are regularly asked by our candidates for advice in creating a CV that will get noticed. Due to this we have collated our consultant’s top tips on creating the perfect CV.

Firstly let’s start with the basics.

What is the best way to set up your CV?

There’s no right or wrong way to set out a CV. There are, however, some standard sections that they should contain. These are:

  • Personal and contact information
  • Personal Statement
  • Skills and achievements relevant to the job
  • Work history
  • Interests
  • References

Keep your CV to a maximum of two sides of A4 paper. Employers receive a lot of CVs, so it’s unlikely that they will read each one from start to finish. In fact, most will make a judgment about a CV after a few seconds (8 to be exact!). It is therefore essential to keep it concise and as short as possible.

Keep your CV clean and tidy. Use headings, bullet points and space your CV appropriately. A little white space is a good thing! Try to stick to one font, we would recommend Calibri or Arial. Ideally use size 11 font. Do not use smaller than size 10.

N.B. Save both a PDF and a Word Version of your CV. If you are sending your CV to an agency the best format to send it in would be as a Word Document. Why? When your CV is sent to the client, whilst we do not edit your CV and it’s contents, we do add a front page with our summary of your suitability for the role, salary, location and more! If your CV is saved as a word document we find we can ensure the format of your CV remains professional.

 

Matching your CV to a job description

Different jobs need different skillsets. Whenever you apply for a job, alter your CV so that it relates to the role you are applying for.

You don’t have to re-write it completely, but you may want to re-draft or re-order some of your interests and skills so the most important ones are nearer the beginning of the document.

You might also want to remove things that you don’t need to mention for a particular job.

 

Keeping your CV updated

It’s really important to review your CV regularly, so that:

  • All your skills and experiences are included
  • It is an accurate and positive reflection of you
  • Your contact details are correct.

If you’ve recently completed a work placement or started to volunteer, make sure you record it on your CV. Accompany it with a short description of what your main duties were and what skills you used.

You should also add any new qualifications to your CV as soon as you get them.

No previous work experience?

Remember that employers won’t expect teenagers or graduates to have lots of work experience. The key is to think about anything you’ve done at school,college or University as well as what you do in your spare time / interests. Is anything that you’ve done relevant to the job you’re applying for? If it is, make sure you put it on your CV.

Don’t be afraid of promoting yourself. That’s what CVs are for after all.

To help you write your CV, we have put some extra tips and advice below. Simply click on the relevant tab to find out more! 
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Personal and Contact Information

Position this at the top of the page so it is clear. Don’t waste space using CV as a title – your name is sufficient.

Essential contact details to include:

  • Email Address
  • Contact Number
  • Address (as a minimum include the town you live in.)
  • LinkedIn profile (but only if it is up to date!)

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Personal Statement

This is an introduction to your CV to highlight your main experience and suitability for the role you are applying for. This should be tailored to each position. It will be a short paragraph that will sit underneath your name. It should be concise, easy to read and highlight the key information which matches you to the role you are applying for.

Your Personal Statement must also tie in with your cover letter. If you want more on how to write your cover letter, it is worth checking our Top Tips guide.
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Your skills and achievements relevant to the job

Highlighting the skills that you feel are relevant to your application can improve your success rate. Keep this section brief and to the point – use bullet points to ensure they stand out. The ones that you mention will depend on the job you’re applying for. By including the right examples of key skills it can make you really stand out.

Key skills include:

  • Computer skills – including using commonly-used programs, writing a blog or knowledge of web design
  • Communication skills – if you’re confident in speaking in front of groups and calm and friendly on the telephone
  • Teamworking – if you’ve ever worked in a large group of people like a sports team or a drama group
  • Problem solving ability – think about any problems you have overcome and how you did it

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Employment History

This section gives you a chance to outline your previous jobs, internships and work experience.

Your employment history should be in chronological order – starting with your most recent. For each entry, you should include your job title, the employer, the dates you worked and a line that summarises your role. You should then bullet point your key responsibilities, skills and achievements. If you have stats and figures to support your points this would strengthen your CV. Try not to start the bullet points with the same word – mix it up a little. Also use strong verbs to make a bigger impact.

If you have had a lot of positions in your work history, you only need to include the previous 10 years worth of experience if you are limited on space. If you feel your previous positions are important to your application, include the headline details such as who you worked for, your job title and the time at the employment.

When listing your employment history keep it clean and easy to read. Consistency is also the key, therefore ensure each entry follows the same format.

  1. This is a section you will be able to personalise to each role. You would edit to ensure that each bullet is relevant to your suitability for the job you are applying for.

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Education and Qualifications

Include any relevant qualifications of certification in your personal statement, such as CIPD or CIM qualification. All your education highlights and qualifications should be listed AFTER your work experience. Include GCSE and equivalent qualifications, as well as all those that are higher. If you are a graduate with no work experience you may want to include the modules you completed to highlight your experience. Always start with the highest level of qualification you have and work backwards.

Include any other qualifications relevant to your application. This would include courses you have attended – such as First Aid.
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References

References should be from people who know you well and can tell an employer about what you have done in the past. They are usually your last two employers. If you haven’t worked before, you can use a teacher or a tutor from school or college.
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Interests

When you’re describing your interests, highlight the things that show off the skills that employers look for. Some really good things to include are:

  • Any examples of working in a team
  • Relevant voluntary work or work experience
  • Positions of responsibility
  • Any activity that shows off using initiative
  • Problem solving ability – think about any problems you have overcome and how you did it

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Pursuit Resources Group are experts at assisting you to find the perfect job. We are recruitment specialists across Essex and beyond, established for over 17 years! If you are looking for new employment and are not yet registered with us you can get in touch by filling out a simple registration form on the website today! It won’t take long, and once we have received your information we can start looking for opportunities for you.

We also have some great opportunities that we are recruiting for right now! To review all our live positions, visit our dedicated page for all our permanent and temporary vacancies.

If you would like to speak to one of the team, we are in the office Monday – Thursday 9am – 5.30pm and on a Friday 9am – 5pm. Please pick up the phone & get in touch today01245 362500
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