Writing a strong professional CV is really important as it is your real opportunity to demonstrate to a potential employer that you are an excellent candidate for their vacancy.
A hiring manager will decide whether or not to invite you for an interview based on how closely aligned your skills are in relation to the essential requirements for their vacancy, and how well you present and communicate your relevant experience on your CV. It will be the first impression the organisation receives of you; so, it will serve you to get it right.
Your CV is essentially an extension of yourself as it reflects your career story and highlights the unique tapestry of your skills, personal attributes and work achievements. In the following guide we will share some best practice tips which will support you to get started with creating or updating your CV.
Hiring managers review and shortlist numerous applications for a vacancy andwill often initially scan through your CV and identify the key experience that stands out, before reviewing it in further depth and detail. This means that your CV needs to be easy to navigate: it needs to quickly and clearly demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and competencies that the reader is looking for, based on the essential criteria for the vacancy.
For the majority of professionals there is a standard approach which is recommended to follow which will evidence your skills, experience and qualifications (if applicable) clearly and thus improve your chances of being selected for an interview for the opportunities that match your experience. There are some exceptions to this standard format and structure which we outline in this guide, for example creative professionals will present their experience quite differently.
As well as looking for relevant skills and experience, employers are looking for solutions. Your application will stand out further by highlighting how you can make a positive impact to their team based on demonstrable positive past performance by listing key achievements from your previous roles.
Your CV and your supporting statement/cover letter will ideally complement each other, with the supporting statement touching on subjects and skills that are then expanded upon in your CV. Always refer to the job description when writing your CV and support statement, so that you are positioning yourself as a direct match for the role.
For more information on writing a strong supporting statement you can review the following guide here: https://longmirerecruitment.co.uk/2019/11/20/writing-a-strong-supporting-statement/
Some initial tips for writing a professional CV:
Choose a clear and professional layout. The following headings are standard titles to plan your layout:
Include your name, telephone number and e-mail address. Include the city/area you live in, adding your home address is optional. Ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date.
This is your opportunity to summarize your key skills and highlight what sets you apart. Your personal statement should be carefully tailored to the job description and quickly summarize your experience, skills, personal attributes, and what you are looking for in your next role. Keep it short and engaging. It is recommended that this statement is no more than four or five lines.
List your most recent position first, and then work backwards. For each role, list your company name, job title and dates of employment. Then include your duties and responsibilities for each role, along with your key achievements,
(Dates of Employment)
Duties and Responsibilities:
Tip: If you have an extensive career history or are a contracting professional, you can follow the structure above for your most recent 3 positions, and then simply list your prior career history, highlighting the details of each organisation name, job title and the dates of your employment.
EDUCATION (if applicable):
HOBBIES AND INTERESTS:
While there isn’t a one size fits all approach for your to take when writing your CV, the above guide will give you a clear, professional, structured approach in which to demonstrate your unique career experience, skills and attributes, to increase your chances of being shortlisted for an interview for roles which directly match your expertise.
Lynda Morrissey, Senior Recruitment Manager, Longmire Recruitment.
Lynda specialises in supporting not-for-profit organisations and social purpose businesses to recruit talented professionals across fundraising, digital and HR up to executive level, so that their organisations are resourced and empowered to continue to make important and unique contributions to individuals and communities in our society, and to the living natural world.
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