The purpose of a CV is to get you an interview so it is important that you get it right! A CV is your way of showing a potential employer, what you are capable of, so by combining content that is clear, concise and instantly accessible, you will be halfway to getting the perfect job.
Putting your CV together
It is important that the information be laid out in a clear and logical way, so that employer’s can access the information easily.
- Contact Details. You should provide your full name, address, and contact telephone numbers. If you have a mobile phone you should always give this number, otherwise you could miss out on that all important position!
- Date of Birth. Employers are not allowed to discriminate, but putting these details down does save them spending time. If you are not a Citizen of the Country in which you are applying, special arrangements may have to be made.
- Education. Starting with the most recent, list the places in which you have studied. For GCSEs and A Levels you will need to state how many subjects you studied and the grades that were achieved.
- Employment History. You will need to put these in order of most recent position first, including starting and leaving dates, the company that you worked for and your job title for each position. (For staff that have been working in temporary positions through agencies, should list the dates that were worked for each agency and then a description of the roles that you took on.) Include a concise description of the duties and responsibilities that were taken in each position, so that employers can see the kind of skills acquired.
General CV Tips
Your CV should usually be no longer than two sheets of A4 paper and kept to two separate pages. Make sure that the CV is kept as brief as possible, thus enabling you to expand further on your skills in the interview process. Avoid repeating yourself and most importantly, be honest!
If there are gaps between employments, these should be explained so that your CV has a continuous flow.
Your CV should never be hand written and all spelling and grammar should be checked. If in doubt get a friend to proof read through it, so that it makes sense.
Typical CV Layout
Type Full Name HerePersonal Contact Details
Personal Details:Date of Birth:
Provide these simple details and a description of the duties that you carried out for each of your last three or four jobs.
Preparing for that interview
The interview is your opportunity to back up in person, everything that the employer has read about you.
Here are a few things that you should do to prepare yourself for the interview.
- Research the job – find out as much as you can about the position that you are applying for, so that you can match your own skills and strengths
- Research the Company – Carry out research on the company, know what its products are, its size, reputation, image, goals. How many people do they employ and what is the company’s philosophy? Know the companies origins, is it a family company, where and when was it established?
All of this information can be gained from the company’s web site or through the recruitment agency on request.
- Make sure that you take with you a copy of your CV and details of referees.
- Plan your route – giving yourself plenty of time to get to the appointment – ideally you should aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early to give yourself a chance to look around and relax.
- Dress professionally, no matter who the company may be, first impressions count! It is recommended that men and women wear suits and sensible shoes. Woman should wear a moderate amount of makeup and simple jewellery and men should be clean shaven, with a tie.
Take one bag or case with you to carry your documents. Leave items that are not required for the day and make sure that your mobile phone is switched off.
- On the day of the interview – Make a note of any questions to ask on the day or any points you would like to cover at the interview.
- It is worth spending some time to work out honest and persuasive answers to examples, such as:
- Why do you want to join our company?
- What can you bring to the company that others may not?
- Why did you leave your last job / why are you leaving your current job?
- Tell me about your current job?
- How will you set about tackling this role if you are successful?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What do you most enjoy about your last/current position
During the InterviewDo be polite and friendly to everyone that you meet.
Do enter the room, stand up straight
Do smile and give your interviewer a firm handshake.
Do speak clearly and firmly
Don’t answer a question unless you fully understand the question, instead you should ask for it to be repeated.
Don’t get sidetracked and go off the point try to keep to the point and answer the question that has been asked.
Do thank your interviewer for their time, smile and give them a firm handshake.
Do ask the interviewer what the next stage is in the process and how you will be informed.
After the interview
Whilst the interview is still in your mind, you should contact your consultant as quickly as you can to give them feedback from the interview. Interviews are a two way process and the agency will need to know how you feel about the position and if you feel it is right for you.
Interview Do’s and Don’ts
Do prepare fully for your interview
Do make sure you get there on time, if you are late make sure you call them to let them know
Do be positive and relax
Do listen carefully to what is being asked
Do reply to any question clearly and concisely
Do be honest
Do sell yourself
Don’t be rude to anyone you meet
Don’t make critical comments about former employers
Don’t tell lies
Don’t be afraid to sell yourself
Don’t be smart – they will catch you out try to pursue a decision there and then if they require time to decide.