How to craft the perfect CV

Careers blogger Ioana Lazarov has been researching into what makes the perfect CV this week and she shares the tips and tricks that she has discovered.

CV trash paper
Make sure that your CV doesn't head straight for the waste paper bin. Photo by Álvaro Castaño on Flickr

Your Curriculum Vitae should be your two (maximum three) page passport to successful employment writes Ioana Lazarov.

This is perhaps the most important document you require to get through the tough selection criteria in today’s competitive job market.

An effective CV should not only reflect your skills, education and work experience but also your personality, individuality and authenticity.

Express and Star provide useful information and CV advice on the ideal outline and presentation. Some variations may apply depending on your area of interest or expertise.

In addition to the advice provided in the career section on how to write a good CV, you should start by dividing your CV into the following sections:

  • Name and contact details
  • Objectives
  • Key skills
  • Education
  • Experience/employment history
  • Voluntary experience (if relevant to the application)
  • References
  • Additional information (such as if you hold a driving licence, availability to travel, previous training etc...)

Your CV should be updated regularly, adding all relevant work experience, education or training courses in a clear, succinct and professional manner.

One of the most common mistakes candidates make is not targeting the CV to match the skills that employers have highlighted in the job description and person specification information.

You may have one excellent CV available; however, you may need to derive this document into different variations to be able to target the wider job market and maximise your chances for employment.

Used as a guidance point, your CV will also become of great use when employers provide a job application form, as you can move the information across.

Also, pay close attention to the language that you use. Your CV should contain positive action words that will give cause for your prospective employer to consider you as a good candidate for the job.

Luckily, there is professional advice available and a CV checker is usually free of charge. You can submit your CV online and receive immediate feedback from a professional who will help you identify the areas of your CV you need to improve.

As well as applying the hints and tips that are available online, CV checkers have also helped me to gain a tremendous insight on what employers pay attention to and how to market myself effectively.

Although having an award-winning CV may not get you the job you want, persistence and perseverance are key to successfully securing a job interview.

And remember, every success story did not happen overnight.

It's important to maintain effective goal setting, consistent action and never forget why it is so important to achieve what you want.

Keep your eyes on the prize and best of luck!

  • Ioana is taking part in a charity skydiving event for Action for Children. Sponser her here.