This is a question we are asked often and the biggest problem we have when answering it is that there is no one right answer. At times it may be best to focus and promote your qualifications, at other times the achievements you have gained in your career are more important.
The content, style and focus of your CV can depend on a number of other factors including:
What stage of your career are you at? eg School Leaver, Graduate, Experienced
- As you progress through your career the amount of information you have about your work experience, qualifications and achievements will grow. This means you may need to think more carefully about what you want to include (or exclude) as you develop in your career. For example if you have gained a postgraduate qualification in your chosen field you may feel you no longer need to detail the names all the school qualifications you gained.
- Similarly if you have held several different jobs during your career you may want to emphasise those jobs most relevant to your application.
- Whilst you don’t need to be too strict on the ‘two page’ rule, focusing on what is most relevant will ensure the reader can easily find the most relevant information for your application.
What type of jobseeker are you? eg First job, return to work, career changer, career developers
- Think about what experience, skills, achievements, personality traits and qualifications are most important for your current career goal. For example, if you are looking to change career you may want to highlight your transferable skills, whilst career developers may prefer to focus on the expertise they have already gained in their career to date and outline their career goals. Those with a career gap may find, in addition to their work history, information on how they have maintained their knowledge or skills whilst out of work could be helpful eg training courses, attending industry events etc
How you will use your CV? eg Applying for a specific job, posting to an online database, registering with an agency, internal application
- If you are responding to a specific job advert it is always worthwhile reviewing your CV to see if you can tailor your experience, emphasising areas which link to the skills or experience the hirer/recruiter is looking for. Alternatively when adding your CV to an online database you may want to include a broader range of examples which will help your CV to be found more easily on the database. You should also ensure you include relevant keywords that hirers and recruiters may use when searching. Think about job titles, industries, skills, qualifications and key responsibilities.
To help get you started we have prepared a general CV template for you, which you can download as a PDF or Word Document. You can also find these in our “Candidate Services” section on our website. You can then amend, re-order or emphasis the content to suit you.
It’s also worth remembering that you can have more than one version of your CV. For example why not have a broad generic CV which can be found easily on online databases whilst altering it to produce a more focussed version when applying for specific jobs.
Keep us updated
We hope this will help when your preparing your next CV.
Good luck and don’t forget you can now register and update your latest CV on our website!
Related Post: Hints & Tips for CV Writing from Escape’s Recruiters