Making your CV work for you
It’s that time of year when the end of Busy Season is in sight (almost?…maybe?…might not quite feel like it yet..!) and greener pastures are on the horizon.
Problem is…you’re not the only bright spark with the same idea. Look to your left, now to your right. Your frazzled colleagues are likely also plotting their own escape (or would be, if they could get a minute!) and EVERYTHING is a competition guys!
So, how do you make sure that your CV is the one that jumps the fence of the initial HR screening and grabs the attention of the hiring manager? Your CV is a sales tool. It’s your pitch for the job of your dreams, and it’s your ticket to the interview. You need to put the work, time and effort into it. I guarantee you – if you’re not, someone else is. And, they are going to take your job, if you let them.
Anyways, chances are, you’ve got enough on your plate at the moment. And, with that in mind, I’m going to make this as easy as I can for you.
Here it is – your crash course and ultimate guide to Making your CV work for YOU;
A good CV in itself cannot get you a job, but since a bad CV can prevent you from even getting an interview, it’s worth spending time preparing a document that will really impress prospective employers. There’s an opportunity for some creativity, but not for gimmicks.
You’ll need to sound professional and business like and highlight your key achievements.
- Always print the CV on standard A4 size, white paper.
- If you’re emailing your CV, use a standard font.
- Use plain English, and make sure both the CV and covering letter are error-free – proof read them thoroughly and spell check!
- Prepare your CV chronologically – list your most recent jobs first, and work backwards. The same applies to education and other work experience.
- Use bullet points where possible and keep paragraphs short – preferably no longer than 4/5 lines.
- The entire CV should, ideally, not exceed two pages in length, although some candidates, whose breadth of experience requires more space, may be able to justify a CV that runs to 3 pages.
- Always send a brief customized letter with any CV you send out.
- Don‘t include the date a CV was prepared – it will only shorten the life of your CV and make it seem prematurely out of date.
- Avoid unnecessary gimmicks, graphics, fancy fonts etc.
1. Name – place top of page.
2. Personal details
- Under employment law you are not obliged to provide your date of birth.
- Keep personal information to a minimum, i.e. address, email, phone number.
- Recruiters like to see details of all qualifications and results, from School Leaving Certificate to degrees and professional qualifications.
- Include any work relevant training, computer training, include any knowledge of foreign languages.
4. Employment History
- List past employment details in reverse chronological order, with the most recent first, devoting the most space to your most recent or current position.
- Names of past employers, along with dates of appointments and a brief outline of responsibilities are essential. Some employers also like to see a brief description of the companies and a summary of their business.
- Never provide salary information on the CV, save it for the interview. If such information is specifically requested, reveal it in the covering letter.
- Always include your specific contributions to each job – note that job-related responsibilities and achievements should be listed with each entry, rather than in a separate section.
- List any affiliation to professional associations, but only if they‘re relevant.
- A good guideline for content on experience is as follows;
- Brief overview of role
- Your prime skills (technical skills such as shooting – include cameras you can use)
- Any awards (internal or external)
- Any progression or promotions received
- Any specialist knowledge or experience (projects or initiatives you have spear-headed etc)
- Any international experience or experience with major multi-national / market leading clients etc.
- Plus any other useful skills like IT / Software packages experience gained.
5. Non-work Activities
- Some employers use this as a handy ice-breaker when starting an interview so it is always useful to included non-work related activities.
- Hobbies and interests should be kept to a minimum: 2 or 3 lines is enough. This information should always appear at the very end of your CV.
Now is probably a good time to also check out our blog post on “The Secrets to CV Success”.
Good luck and be sure to reach out to our Finance Recruiters Gill (Permanent) & Vanessa (Contract) so we can keep you abreast of all new opportunities on the Cayman market!