Building A Standard CV For Job Interview

Your CV is important when it comes to job searching, if you get it right, you’ll have an interview in no time; if you get it wrong, you will face rejection after rejection.

Every CV is unique and you want to demonstrate that your package of skills qualifies you for the job you’re applying for at the time, but they all follow a common framework.

This guide will teach you how to write a perfect CV for 2021 and beyond.

What exactly is a CV Building?

Your CV or curriculum vitae is a personal marketing guide used to promote yourself to potential employers. It should teach them about you, your educational background, as well as your talents, ability, and accomplishments. Finally, it should emphasize that you are the right candidate for the role.

When applying for a position, you must submit a curriculum vitae. Employers can request a cover letter and a completed application form in addition to your CV.

What your CV should look like in 2021

Although a CV’s format is adaptable to the specific skill set and experiences, there are some parts that employers want to see regardless.

Here are the parts of your CV that you must include:

1. Name, job title, and contact information

Your name, professional title, and contact information should appear in the first section of your CV, which should be at the top of the list. You should never use the terms “curriculum vitae” or “CV” in the title of your CV because it wastes precious space. Instead, use your name as the title.

Your email address and phone number(s) are important when it comes to your contact information. It was once standard to have your complete address on your CV. You just need to mention your town and county today.

You can also add a link to your LinkedIn profile in this section if you like – but only if it’s current!

Here’s an example of how your name could be written

First name Surname / Title

Location: Town, County

Phone Number  +234 1023456789

Email address [email protected]

2. Personal knowledge

One of the most critical facets of your CV is your personal profile, also known as a personal statement, work goal, or technical profile.

It’s a little paragraph that appears right beneath your name which is a piece of contact information and gives potential employers an outline of who you are and what you’re all about.

Any work you apply for should be tailored to your profile, with unique attributes that align you to the position highlighted.

Make your personal comment as brief as possible, no more than a few words. To get the best out of this segment, try to answer the following questions:

  • Your name?
  • What do you have to bring to the company?
  • List out your professional objectives?

3. Experience and work experience

In your career history section, you can describe your past employers, internships, and work experience.

List your background in reverse chronological order, with the most recent job being the most important to the boss.

When listing each position, include your job description, boss, dates performed, and a line that summarizes the task. Then, bullet points your core roles, abilities, and accomplishments, and help each point with powerful verbs and figures to back up your claims and demonstrate your influence.

It is beneficial to choose the duties that are most important to the role you are applying for, particularly if the list is lengthy. You may reduce the detail of old or irrelevant jobs if you have several years of experience. You will uninstall places that are more than ten years old.

Here’s an example of how to format each job title on your CV:

mmm yyyy – mmm yyyy

Company Name, Location

Role Title

Outline

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Key responsibilities

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Key achievements/projects

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Your schooling, like your experience, should be classified in reverse chronological order. Include the names of the schools you attended as well as the times you were there, followed by your credentials and ratings.

If you have recently completed your studies, you can write your degree, A-levels, or GCSEs (or equivalents) as follows:

Name of the institution – Dates of attendance (from-to)

Subject/Qualification – Grade

If you have a degree, you might include a couple of the most important modules, tasks, or projects.

For professionals who are a little further along in their careers or with a large number of credentials to their name, you should format the qualifications as follows:

Qualification, grade, institution, and year.

Additional points

There are some additional parts that will help you improve your CV and showcase your abilities. Here are a few examples that you might include if you have enough space:

Key skills: 

Have a key skills segment under your professional profile whether you’re writing a working CV or have any talents you want to show off to the boss right away. At most, you can detail four or five skills.

Hobbies and interests:

If you believe your CV is missing out on something, you will improve it by including a  hobbies and interests section at the top. This will demonstrate how well you blend into the business or market. Eg, if you’re applying for a position in the environmental field, why not mention that you’re passionate about climate change activism?

However, stop mentioning interests that do not bring value to your CV or are mundane, such as reading. Made use of passions that set you apart or are important to the work.

References:

Adding the referees to the end of your CV, like including your address, is no longer common practice. You may add a line that says ‘references available on request,’ but if you don’t have space, it’s fine to leave it out entirely.

Guidelines for formatting and positioning

If you’re not sure how to format your CV, it’s a good idea to download a few CV models to get started. After all, the style and spacing of your CV are just as critical as the text.

Here are few formatting and alignment pointers to remember:

Length of the CV: In the United Kingdom, the normal length for a CV is two pages. However, since one size does not cover everything, one or three pages might be more suitable for certain practitioners.

Headings of the CV: To ensure a simple read, each segment must be introduced with a large, bold heading.

Font: Since most employers would receive the CV in digital format, choose a legible font like Calibri or Arial. You may use a different font style for your headings, but keep it professional and simple to read at the same time.

Font size and page margins: Your CV’s body should be between 10 and 12 point font, and your headings should be between 14 and 18 inches. Maintain page margins of 2.5cm or more, but never less than 1.27cm, or the CV would become cluttered and difficult to read. The use of white space promotes transparency and professionalism.

Proofreading and consistency: To keep the CV looking professional, your formatting must be consistent throughout. Don’t ruin your flawless appearance by adding typos and inaccuracies; proofread like a pro to catch any error, or invest in insightful spell-checkers including Grammarly.

Tailoring, keywords, and ATSs: It’s fine to keep a default copy of your CV for your own records, but if you’re applying for a job, it must be personalized to the position. This will not only demonstrate to managers that you are a good fit, but it will also help your application defeat the ATS robots.

Save the file: You will most likely submit your CV by email or via a work board such as CV-Library. To ensure that recruiters can open your CV on every laptop, save it as a pdf file. A pdf will still preserve formatting, so you can be certain your employees can see your CV the way you wanted.

What not to include

There are several details you should not include on your CV. Here are a few examples: 

A headshot: It is standard practice in many countries to have a snapshot of yourself on your CV. However, this is not a promise of getting the job and can be irritating as well.

Age and date of birth: The only dates that should appear on your CV are those related to your jobs and credentials. Your age has little bearing on your abilities to do the work, and it is unlawful for employers to inquire about your age under the Equality Act of 2010.

Marital status: Your marital status and dependents, including your age, have no bearing on your ability to do your work. These are protected attributes under the Equality Act of 2010, and it is illegal for employers to inquire about them, please do not put them on your CV.

Get your CV right from the start, and you could find a job sooner. Your CV is your opportunity to make a good first impression and land an interview, so follow this 2021 tutorial and then submit your CV to apply for your next position.

Good luck…

Xoxo…

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