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Andrew Constantinou
Writing a Standard Formal CV
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14/06/12 15:02

A Curriculum Vitae CV also known as a rsum is a document outlining your professional history and education.
A CV is the most commonly used method when applying for jobs and is essentially your tool to selling your skills, qualifications, abilities, and experience to employers. It is simply the ultimate tool to getting you to stage two
the interview room.

Writing a Standard Formal CV

A simple easy to read, clearly laid out CV is the best CV. Imagine yourself for a moment in the shoes of an employer. You have 60 applicants CVs to read through; its late in the day and you just want to go home and hang
your coat up. When faced with badly written CVs containing irrelevant information and laid out in an incoherent manner what do you do?
The sad truth many CVs end up in the waste basket for the exact same reasons stated above. So it is essential to get your CV right and increase your chances to getting that job.
Over the next few segments we are going to cover a few simple steps which will help you write a standard formal CV. Some CVs can vary in layout, depending on the job sector. However, the following will apply to most.

Basic things to remember

Keep it short an employer doesnt want to read about your entire life story or the names of your pets. Many candidates make this mistake and overwrite their CVs with irrelevant information.
As a general rule try to keep it to two sides of A4; each page (side) should be on a separate sheet of paper.
Always type your CV, please, please! do not listen to nonsense such as its more personal when its hand written and makes a nice impression this is utter nonsense, the employer or selector tasked with reading your CV
isnt your friend and certainly doesnt want handwritten CVs which are often unclear and difficult to read.
Be positive and make a good impression. Your CV represents you; its your opportunity to present facts about yourself in a positive way. Emphasise your strengths, achievements and contributions to your past and/or
current employer.

The Content and Layout

Your CVs layout and format is very important for reasons already stated earlier. Studies have shown that a clearly written, formal CV is the best way to go. All deviations from a formal format greatly reduced the chances of
an interview. It is also worth noting that employers may spend as little as 45 seconds skimming a CV before deciding its fate. So get your point across in an easy to read manner and ensure your key qualities and abilities
stand out. Headings and titles should be bold and in places a slightly larger font can be used. Keep a reverse chronological order beginning with your most recent work experience first. If you have little work experience, you
may start with your academics.
The Heading
Write your general information in the CV heading as follows;
Full Name - Your name should be in bold or in a slightly larger font.
Date of birth (optional) this is no longer required due to age discrimination laws.
Local address - Keep your address on a single line and do not title it as; Address.
Email address - Email is the preferred method of contact, avoid using silly emails.
Phone number - Mobile is usually preferable.
Below is an example of a good CV heading:
Using a single line for the address saves space and retains a neat and tidy look.
Steve Pearson
32 My Street, Stamford Hill, London, N16 5L2
Mobile: 0777 111 222
Your Personal Statement
Although this is completely optional, a good personal statement can go a long way to helping you land that interview. Keep it short and positive no more than 5 or 6 lines highlighting your key strengths, experience, skills and
Personal statements are a guide onto themselves which we shall cover in detail at a later date.
Education and Qualifications
List your education history in a reverse chronological order beginning with your most recent. Include degrees, university, A levels, GCSEs or equivalents.
Experience or Academics
The next step is to list your work experience; however, if for example you are a graduate with little work experience it is advisable to begin listing your academic achievements first.
Layout your work experiences in a concise easy to read manner and emphasise your job related skills using strong words such as developed, organised, planned and team-work and avoid mentioning the menial daily functions
synonymous to the job.
Even the most seemingly mundane jobs can involve team-work and management. For example working in a shop or restaurant, although not glamorous, requires being organised and working in a team to provide a quality
service to customers.
Heres a good example, note how we avoid the menial routines and simply emphasise the positive skill based actions;
July 2010 Nov. 2011
Phones 4 U, London, Oxford St
Store Assistant - Worked as part of a team, this involved planning, organisation, co-ordination and commitment to providing customers a quality service.
Interests and achievements
List a few of your interests, but keep it short and to the point, try to stick to interests which involve other people or a team effort and avoid mentioning to many solitary hobbies such as stamp collecting or you will run the risk of
being perceived as lacking people skills. Employers tend to look for evidence of team-work, organising, planning, leadership or negotiating skills, so think carefully about which of your interests highlight this.

List your skills, usually languages and computing are worth mentioning.
For example;
Languages: Conversational Spanish, German and basic French
Computing: Good working knowledge of MS Excel and Outlook
Driving: Full clean driving licence
Finally, list your referee contacts, usually two or three referees are sufficient. Ideally, one should be your most recent employer. If you are a graduate, a reference from tutor or a project supervisor would be advisable.
We have reached the end of this guide. I hope it has been of some help and wish you the best of luck in your next career.

Written by: Andrew Constantinou from; The UK Jobsite

cv tips cv writing job seeker advice writng a formal cv

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