So imagine you’ve just found a vacancy for a job or an apprenticeship or a course, whatever it is you’re sure you’re perfect for it and you want to stand out. Every job will ask for a CV, so to make sure it’s detailed and impressive, here are a few tips if you haven’t written one or you think you could enhance your current CV.
1. Include a Personal Statement
Introduce yourself. This is the time to sell yourself and explain what your skills are and how they’d be suitable for the job you’re applying for. If the application doesn’t require a cover letter, the employer would still like to see why you want the job so by altering the personal statement to suit each vacancy you improve your chances of employment. If an employer receives a generic CV that could’ve been sent out to 50 other vacancies that day – they’re unlikely to believe you really want the job.
It’s important to structure your CV, making it easy to read but also appealing to look at – if the CV doesn’t make sense, they can’t see why you’re right for the job.
Include the details of your education, if you have GCSEs where did you receive them, how long were you there for and what grades did you achieve per subject – even if you think some of the subjects are irrelevant to the position you’ve chosen, any successful grade can show an employer you’re hardworking and determined. Then follow this with any further academic achievements you’ve received such as A-Levels or certificates, it all counts.
Discuss your work experience, whether this was paid or voluntary, include it. As with education, include where you worked and for what time period; include your tasks and what was expected of you, even if this isn’t the same position as you’re applying for, it could show that you’re able to adapt to a work environment and accept responsibility
3. Enhance your Experience
When you’re discussing your work experience and including the tasks involved, be sure to emphasise what skills were acquired in each task. In this way, a potential employer won’t see somebody who just completed work experience but somebody who developed skills and learnt from their experience. This potential employer also sees evidence here of any skills you claim to have and will be more likely to offer you a position if you can explain when you’ve put these skills into use.
4. Be honest
No matter how short you think your CV is or how tempted you are to exaggerate one online language lesson into “fluent in 2 languages” – don’t do it! In many cases, you’re likely to be found out, potentially when these things are expected of you in your new role and you don’t actually have the experience or the ability. Overemphasising tasks can easily get out of hand and won’t offer an accurate representation of yourself.
5. Avoid cliches and negativity
“Always gives 110%” – a cliche, something you definitely want to avoid in your CV. Not only will the employer see this as unimaginative and overused, they’re likely to think of it as lazy. When you’re discussing your experience or your education, it’s important to explain what these taught you and what skills you’ve developed but there’s much better ways to show this than using cliches. For example, instead of saying you give 110% you could say you’re a hard worker or even better that you used your own initiative. This will show the employer not only are you not afraid of accepting responsibility but also that you can work well under pressure and adapt to new situations.
As for negativity, even if you didn’t enjoy previous work placements or maybe a subject you studied, your CV is not the place to complain about this. Especially if the reason for a negative work experience was your previous boss, your potential new boss doesn’t want to hear this and it could appear immature.
To summarise, make sure you present the best version of yourself and adapt it to the job role, considering what the employer will expect from you and showing them you’re the right person for the vacancy.
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