Curriculum vitaes, or CVs for short, are one of your first opportunities to make an impression on potential employers. Because of this, it helps to have a well-formatted and relevant document on hand that displays you in the best light possible
Stand out from the crowd:
One of the main challenges you will face when looking for a job is the quantity of CVs that employers and recruiters receive. This means that individuals will either be looking at large amounts of candidates or be looking for specific attributes.
A strategy that could benefit you in this process is to add colour, graphics and good formatting that will benefit the readability of your CV compared to others.
Another idea could be to use an inverted pyramid or ‘front-loading’ to get the most important information to the top of the document. This will mean that recruiters and employers can see your key attributes and experience quicker.
Experience and self-development:
Work experience and training is something that helps candidates stand-out from the pile.
There are many training courses and certificates that are available online that could help prove ability or interest.
Courses in programmes such as Microsoft Word, other common industry-standard programmes and tools are valuable as transferrable skills and knowledge.
Do not undersell your ability:
CVs are not the place to be humble and undersell your ability. List key responsibilities from any work experience or work you have done before citing relevant experience and responsibilities. For example:
A part-time paper round could include skills such as –
- Time management skills
- Research and planning (for routes)
- Problem solving
A customer-facing service role could include skills such as –
- Customer service
- Experience with Point-of-sale interfaces
- Problem solving
Tailoring your CV to the job role:
Editing your CV for each job role alongside a unique cover letter which details the job role and company will also benefit you in the process. This seems simple enough, however, this will show that you have gone to the effort of making a relevant and personalised cover letter, as opposed to using a generic response to any other roles you may apply for.
There may be work experience or skills that are more relevant to certain roles than others. Front-loading that information higher up your CV can also be beneficial.
Do you have pictures of your work or anything you could put together for a portfolio? Using a free website builder will make it easier to build an online portfolio that showcases your work. Most application forms will allow the inclusion of additional links to websites and profiles, making this another way that you can stand out from the crowd.
Hobbies and interests:
Another section that can also impress is hobbies and interests, as there may be certain traits and skills that are transferable to the workplace. For example:
- Playing football could include skills such as team building and strategy
- Coding could include skills such as computer-literacy and focus
There are many resources online regarding CV writing and cover letters but also in your school. If you have any further questions, please contact the careers lead.