CV tips

 

Writing a CV isn’t rocket science so don’t over complicate things. Employers & Recruiters need to know what you do, how long you have done it, qualifications and what makes you perfect for the position you have applied to, simple!

There are a million different websites offering advice but simply you put what you need to, make sure the CV reads well and make sure you put across your point. Don’t waffle on! People say that it has to be 2 pages, that’s rubbish; your CV needs to give a good reflection of YOU.

Our advice would be no longer than 4 pages and use a simple template, if you want us to give advice then please send your CV to info@octanerecruitment.co.uk and we will be happy to help

  1. Personal Details
  2. Profile
  3. Work History
  4. Education & Qualification’s
  5. Hobbies & Interests
  6. References

Do’s

  • Be honest!!
  • Simple yet detailed and to the point, if it isn’t relevant then don’t put it in
  • Dates of employment

Don’t

  • No boxes!! Creating a piece of art only hinders your chances; let your achievements do the talking. Also your formatting looks different once sent off so it’s often a waste of time
  • Don’t waffle – The CV gets you through to an interview so use that time to tell them in more detail
  • Pictures – Pictures are something that is becoming more popular and doesn’t help your application
Personal Details

Personal Details

The first thing on a CV and crucial to every CV. If you can’t get this right then people can’t contact you about a job!

  • Full name
  • Full address – Don’t try and just put a town as this won’t help!
  • Mobile number – Expect calls from recruiters so check your voicemails
  • Email Address – You will want to know the details on vacancies so to receive details make sure you put this on there and check your emails regularly
    • Some people have addresses such as ‘crazylegsmark@hotmail.com’, this won’t make too much difference but can leave an element of uncertainty. You are best to create an email such as ‘john_smith@hotmail.com’
Profile / Personal Statement

Profile / Personal Statement

This is you opportunity to give you a quick overview of you, what you have done and why you are a good candidate. Tell us, in no more than 2 paragraphs, about you and your background.

How much experience do you have? What changes have you made and what was the outcome?

What sort of individual you are?

Make sure this reflects you; generic items like ‘I like to work part of a team’ are good but very boring. Why do you like working with a team?

What do you bring that the next candidate doesn’t?!

For instance see here for a statement a Technician recently wrote. Reading this information automatically makes you think you are on to a good candidate. In this short space he has told me that he has all the skills I require for the role and brings further skills to benefit his application

Example:

A qualified light vehicle technician and MOT tester with experience of working in a car dealership. Working as part of a small team, time management and being willing to adapt to any task were key aspects of the job.

  • Extensive product knowledge: Learning and knowing the product I work on.
  • Practical skills: Knowing which tools to use and when.
  • Fault finding: Identifying faults and using diagnostic equipment.
  • Time management: Deciding which jobs to do in which order to meet deadlines.
  • Interacting with customers: Asking questions and listening to customers to understand their complaint and explaining to them what needs to be done and why.
Work History

Work History

This is the most important part of your CV and the section that people regularly get wrong. We need to know where you worked, when, job title, duties and any particular strong points.

Depending on how many jobs you have had we would recommend a detailed account of your present job then previous 2 roles. Any job prior to this just list dates, company and job title

DO NOT lie on your CV, taking a company out or having the dates wrong is the biggest no no. This shows you can’t be trusted or have something to hide so be honest!!

  • Dates – This is crucial. Have the start and finish dates.
  • Where you worked –  Put your place of work, don’t worry about the full address as we can google
  • Job title – again this is crucial that you are 100% honest, only put your official job title
  • Duties – Give us a brief breakdown of what you did
  • Key attributes – tell us what you did to make you good at your role. If you were a manager tell us how many staff you managed, when you took on the role how it was performing compared to today

Example

May 2012 – Present Ford Manchester

Sales Executive (New & Used Cars)

Duties:

Dealing with customers, on a daily basis, to determine their needs / requirements to secure the best vehicle for them. Using my years of experience within the motor trade I am able to deal with people in a professional and personable manner top find the right solution.

  • Able to Demonstrate key functions in a professional and clear manner
  • Strong Negotiation skills
  • Prospecting potential customers coming towards the end of their agreement

Key Attributes:

  • Top Sales Executive for the last 12 months
  • Sales Executive of the year 2014
  • Sold 230 units in 2014 (130 used & 100 new)
Education & Qualification’s

Education & Qualification’s

Another crucial element depending on the job you are applying to. For instance if you are a Vehicle Technician make sure you add the qualifications you have gained, what college you went to and dates.

Add your School, College and university qualifications plus relevant works courses & qualifications

Hobbies & Interests

Hobbies & Interests

Often people over look this section as its doesn’t seem relevant to your experience but that couldn’t be more wrong! This section is to give everyone a good understanding of you and how you would fit in with the whole team.

For instance if you are interested in Sudoku & bird watching then it’s unlikely you will wow a Sales team.

I enjoy motocross, surfing and spending time with my family. Married with 2 daughters < This tells us you are fun and have priorities so you will look after your family.

References

References

Putting references is always recommended, this shows you have nothing to hide and you are confident in your abilities. References will never be contacted before a position is offered.