Getting ahead in the job market can be a tough task but there are straightforward steps that can be taken that can put you at the front of the queue.
Therefore, it is important you get your CV right. The average employer takes just 30 seconds to make a judgement on a CV. Your resume provides the first opportunity to showcase your skills to a potential employer and can put you head and shoulders above the competition if executed properly.
Here are some clear pointers that apply to every great CV.
Unlike creative jobs which often permit vibrant and eye-catching designs, further education CVs should have a clean and simple layout. It should be written in report style (i.e. bullet points, short sentences and small paragraphs) NOT in essay style with long sections of prose. 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. Any longer runs the risk of losing the employer’s attention, while 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.
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.
Don’t include any distinguishing information that could lead to foregone conclusions such as date of birth, marital status, race, nationality or disability.
A short introductory paragraph 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.
When you write your employment history, put your most recent achievements first. Placing a focus on particular achievements will indicate what is most valuable to the employer.
Show how your previous experience can help you 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 you qualifications 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.
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. 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.