How To Write The Perfect Cv

If you are thinking of looking for a new job, your first introduction to your potential new employer will more than likely be your CV. Therefore it is important to get it right. Below is JobServe's guide to the perfect CV.

A good CV will significantly increase your chances of getting the job you want. The ideal CV demonstrates that you are suitable for the job. It should do so with an element of originality and without any negative details. A CV is also a useful record of your details when filling in application forms.
The content of your CV
• A CV should be a maximum of two sides of A4 paper.
• For a job requiring specific skills it is better to send a tailored CV, with information relevant to that company.
• Your CV should be organised, easy to read and interesting. Use headings, short sentences or bullet points to get the information across clearly.
• Use specific terms rather than general phrases - 'I have four years experience' is better than 'I have wide experience'.
• Stick to your personal achievements - phrases like 'took part in' suggest that you were not closely involved.
• Use plain English, avoiding repetition of words such as 'I'.
• Be honest and accurate.
The layout of your CV
The layout can vary, but there are certain pieces of information that you need to include. The following order is the standard layout for a CV

1. Personal details
• Name in full - use this as the heading rather than Curriculum Vitae - your name will stick in the interviewer's memory.
• Full postal address with postcode, phone number with STD code (daytime and evening numbers if possible and whether each number is a direct line, switchboard or answerphone).
• Date of birth.
• Driving licence - if you have a full, clean driving licence say so.
• Nationality.

2. Employment history
• Include a brief statement about your achievements and career aims, if you wish. Some employers like this, but remember that if you include it, your CV may go to someone who does not.
• List all employment, with the most recent job first, the dates started and finished, job title, employers name, industry, company size and key responsibilities.
• List your achievements and results for each job using bullet points. Include examples with the results such as 'implemented a sales strategy which increased sales by 50 per cent'.

3. Education, training and qualifications
• List all education from secondary school onwards. Start with college or university, then schools, including location.
• List exams passed, with the dates and results.
• List any specialist training courses attended that are relevant to the job.

4. Additional information
• Skills - for example computer skills with the packages you can use, typing speed, and any languages, stating how well you can speak or write them.
• Interests and hobbies - try to get across something of your personality, but keep it brief and factual. Try to show hobbies that underline skills useful to the job - chairman of a society shows leadership; secretary of a team shows organisation.

5. References
• Not generally required - only enclose them if you are specifically asked to.
Avoid asking for a specific salary or giving details of your current salary - this may rule you out at the first stage, and can be discussed at the interview.
The presentation of your CV
• Your CV says a lot about you. Employers are likely to receive many CVs so first impressions count.
• Take the time to lay it out clearly and check for spelling mistakes and errors.
• Read it through carefully and get someone else to read it too to check for errors.
• Use a word processor - do pay someone to produce it professionally if you cannot do it yourself.
• Do not make hand-written adjustments to a finished CV.
• It should be in black on white paper, in case the employer wants to photocopy it.
• Always send an original, not a photocopy.
Remember you can upload your CV to the JobServe website for employers and recruitment agencies to view. Logon to today to take full advantage of our free candidate services. It could be that stepping stone to your dream job.