By combining razor sharp content with concise presentation, that adheres to tried and tested methods of CV writing, you will be halfway to getting that all important interview invitation.
Thousands of applicants submit CVs through the AoC Jobs site and while there are tailored differences, there are some clear takeaways that apply to every great CV.
Here is our guide to creating a killer CV:
The first thing to consider is the layout of your CV. Unlike creative jobs which often permit vibrant and eye-catching designs, further education CVs should have a clean and simple layout. Use easy to read fonts and clear headings. Ensure your style is consistent throughout with the same font style and same sized subheadings.
We recommend making your CV a maximum of two pages. Making it longer runs the risk of losing the employer’s attention, leaving it too short suggests you do not have enough experience to fill the vacancy. If you have more than two pages of content, check that what you are including is absolutely relevant to the specific position you are applying for. Don’t be afraid of trimming to make sure you are clear and concise overall.
The first section of your CV should be a header including your name, address, telephone number and email address. Your name should be written in a larger and bolder font than the rest of your CV to make it stand out to recruiters.
Do not include any distinguishing information that could lead to foregone conclusions such as date of birth, marital status, race or disability. Nationality should also be omitted for further education applications. Many people attach a photograph of themselves but this could also go against you.
Your personal profile is a short introductory paragraph that defines your motivations and tells the employer why you are the best fit for their organisation. Your profile should be no more than 100 words and should highlight the areas of experience relevant to the specific job. Specifics of these skills can be listed in a later section.
A modern CV trend is to have a section listing your skills in bullet point style. These are often the keywords in job applications which describe required attributes such as good time management or ability to work under pressure.
Use columns to separate skill types. One column should be job-related skills directly relevant to the specific job, another should be transferable attributes such as communication and IT Skills and a third column could list supplementary skills such as foreign language fluency and driving license.
While it is tempting to simply chronologically list previous roles, describing the key duties you had, putting focus on particular achievements will indicate what is most valuable to the employer.
Show how your previous experience can help you to excel in the new role and try to look objectively at your experiences by identifying what skills you developed in the process. Keep sentences brief and clear so that employers can pick out the information they want easily.
List the qualifications you have achieved in chronological order and avoid including any information which may be viewed negatively such as failed exams. If you have taken courses related to the job in hand or have obtained professional qualifications, a complementary personal development summary can be added to this section.
A section that outlines your hobbies or interests is not necessary but can add extra value to the employer by revealing a little more about your personality. If you do choose to add an interests section, keep it short. it should be purely to show extra reasoning as to why you are suited to the role. For instance if you play sports in a team, rather than explaining why you enjoy it, highlight the fact that you can bring leadership or teamwork qualities to the role.
It is not always necessary to give the names and contact details of referees. You should simply state that references are available upon request. Employers will ask you for details if and when they are ready to offer you a position. It is important that you choose the right people to can testify for your working practices. You have a right to view comments your old employer makes about you in their reference under the Data Protection Act. For further advice visit our CV and interview tips page which provides information on what to do after you’ve sent your application and consequently how to prepare for a further education job interview.