CVs and application forms

Revamp your CV for the new year

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:54 -- nick

The one great thing about the new year (apart from the parties, food and drink etc) is the natural feeling of making a fresh start.

Why not begin with the most fundamental thing you can – your CV. Here are four steps to making sure your CV is right and ready to go in your campaign to get the job and career you really want in the new year.

What is a CV?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:51 -- nick

The term 'Curriculum Vitae', commonly abbreviated to CV, can be literally translated as 'course of life'. Sometimes referred to as a résumé, it's a summary of your career history that is often the first phase in getting yourself noticed by potential employers.

Why CVs are requested
When employers have a vacancy they need to fill they will put together a person specification; a list of the skills and experience they want the ideal candidate to possess. From this list, the job advert is created, which is where they will ask you to send them your CV.

How can I leverage volunteer work on my CV?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:47 -- nick

There are many reasons leading up to opting in for volunteer work. The important thing to remember is contributing your time and effort has a directly beneficial effect on your current or future career path.

Employers find volunteering work on a CV a valuable distinguisher. Whether the work was taken during a job or in between, it shows a pro-active approach to better yourself in a productive way.

What makes a good CV design and layout?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:43 -- nick

There are a few schools of thought suggesting you should shy away from an arty or funky design that may distract employers from the content of your CV in favour of a more conservative and clean format. But, you can have both, albeit with a bias to the conservative style.

Employers spend around 20 to 30 seconds scanning your CV so it needs to remain clutter-free and easy to read. The last thing a recruiter wants to do is to go hunting for the information that they are looking for and struggle to find it amongst the array of elaborate graphics.

What hobbies and interests should I include on my CV?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:38 -- nick

If an employer has already been unimpressed by the time they get to the Hobbies and Interests section, the information that you include at the end of your CV will not persuade them to change their mind about offering you an interview.

However, that doesn't mean the information included here is not important. A few brief words could catch the employer's eye and persuade them to take a second look through your skills and experience.

What skills should I include on my CV?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:29 -- nick

As we have mentioned in many articles, your CV is designed to do one thing: to get you an interview with a prospective employer. That means that every section of your CV must contain information of most value - and relevance - to the advertised position. And, your ‘Skills' section is arguably the most important part of your CV to employers.

Hiring managers want to know what's in it for them. What will you bring to their company? Therefore, you need to sell yourself and demonstrate your skills and show how you are going to be a positive addition to their workforce.

How should I list my previous jobs on my CV?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:23 -- nick

Employers spend more time looking at your employment history than any other part of your CV. Consequently, this section needs to quickly convince a potential employer of your suitability to the advertised role and effectively market you for your current career goals.

But, there are different formats of CV that can be used to communicate your employment history and the type that is most suitable depends on what stage your career is at:

Where should I include my qualifications on my CV?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:19 -- nick

Everything that appears on your CV is designed to appeal to the needs of your potential employer and to answer the question “What do you offer that other applicants don't?”

Where you include the Education section on your CV is dependent on how well it enhances your application and, regardless of whether you have a lack or abundance of qualifications, the following tips will enable you put you on a level playing field to compete with your fellow job seekers.

How do I complete application forms?

Mon, 17/09/2012 - 13:15 -- nick

Application forms help employers to compare candidates on a more even keel and allow the employer to extract more specific information than is often included in a CV. You will generally come across them in public sector or management trainee roles where the number of applicants is extremely high as it allows employers to spot if a certain box has not been ticked and quickly discard the unfortunate applicants



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