In this video blog, Richard McMunn from How2Become.com will teach you how to write a CV, and in particular, a brilliant one that lands you that all-important interview.
So, without further ado, please watch the following video and read the text transcript that follows, as these tips are going to help you write a CV that gets you noticed – GUARANTEED!
Introduction: How To Write a Great CV
Hello there, everybody!
My name is Richard McMunn from How2Become.com. In this audio blog post I am going to give you some fantastic advice on how to construct your own CV – and make your qualifications stand out from the crowd!
The majority of people will be aware that having a good CV is a really important element to securing a job position. However, what they aren’t aware is:
- How employers actually read a CV.
- How to make their CV stand out. By this, I mean that it immediately grabs the attention and separates you from the list of other candidates.
- How to tailor their CV to the job position.
In this blog, I’ll give you some top tips on all of the above, and lots more! So, without further ado, let’s begin!
CV WRITING TIP #1 – Make your CV match the job description
When writing any CV, it’s seriously important that your CV matches the job description. What do I mean by this? Well, imagine if you were an employer, and someone applied to join your company. What type of things would you expect to see on their CV?
For argument’s sake, let’s assume you were employing people to work in a customer service facing role, where they would be dealing directly with customers. The skills you would expect to see from someone who knows how to write a brilliant CV would relate to:
- Person-to-person interaction.
- Communication skills.
- Problem solving.
Ideally, you’d be looking for a CV which demonstrates that someone has worked in roles requiring and utilising the above attributes. The difference between someone who knows how to write a brilliant CV, and someone who doesn’t, is that the former group will go all out to demonstrate their experience. Employers want to see that people have experience in using the same skills and attributes they are looking for. So, if someone sent in a CV for a customer service facing role that showed no evidence of actually dealing with people in a professional environment, where they have only sat behind a desk, using mathematical skills, then this is unlikely to impress the employer.
You need to tailor your CV to the job you are applying for. Therefore, when writing it, include keywords and phrases that are a match. .
CV WRITING TIP #2 – Load your CV with powerful keywords and phrases
In line with the previous point, it’s important that your CV is full of positive words and phrases, showing that you are an attractive and highly-employable candidate. The types of words you should include within your CV are:
- Loyal and hardworking
If you include the above keywords and phrases when writing your CV, it is sure to resonate positively with the employer or recruiting manager. Your CV is essentially a chance to sell yourself to the employer. You aren’t just selling your skills, but you are selling your personal qualities too. Ultimately having the right skills means nothing if you don’t have the personal qualities to use these skills, or if you don’t know how to write a brilliant CV. So, make sure you sell yourself!
CV WRITING TIP #3 – Keep your CV short and simple!
Some people submit CVs that are pages and pages long, full to the brim with information. The problem with this approach, is that if you send an employer a CV that is longer than 2 pages – the chances are they won’t read it. Your CV only has to be two pages, and even then the formatting is more important than the length.
The reality is that recruiters, employees and hiring managers do not have the time to sift through endless CVs. Therefore, it’s essential that you ‘trim the fat’ so to speak, keeping your CV relevant and focused on the job you are applying for.
But what if I have 3 pages worth of experience and skill?
If you have extensive experience, then that’s great news! However, you still need to trim and tailor this to keep it relevant. It is your task to select and focus your CV on the most relevant aspects, that will impress the potential employer.
CV Writing TIP #4 – The Different Sections of a CV
Now, let’s have a brief look at the different sections of CV, before exploring these sections in more detail.
For your CV to grab the attention of the employer or recruitment manager, make sure you only include the following sections when writing it:
Personal and contact details
This should include your name, address and contact details (email address and telephone number)
This is your opportunity to quickly grab the attention of the recruiter or employer. Within the ‘How To Write A CV’ video above, I have provided you with advice on how to create a brilliant CV personal statement.
Make sure you provide you work experience and skills in chronological order – with the latest employer position coming first. Also, make sure the skills and qualities you whilst within this section are a close match for the job you are applying for.
This section of your CV is obligatory, so make sure you include any relevant educational and professional qualifications within this section. It is also acceptable to place details of any external organisation bodies or membership groups you belong to, providing they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
CV Writing TIP #5 – How To Write A Personal Statement
Your personal statement is super important. It’s the only real chance you’ll have in your CV to produce an extended passage of writing (excluding the cover letter), so you need to make this count. Your personal statement should be a short 1 or 2 paragraph section, explaining who you are and giving a brief overview of your skills and experience. It’s important to really sell yourself here, and this is a good place to use the keywords we mentioned earlier!
Below we’ve included a short sample personal statement, to show you how this might be done:
“I am a highly-motivated administrator with over 5 years’ experience in all areas from reception management to customer care. Most recently, I have been managing the day-to-day operational aspects of a busy office which includes taking care of key business clients, organising office workloads and prioritizing tasks. I can be trusted to provide exceptional customer service, both face-to-face and via the telephone, whilst also assisting the business to grow and improve overall sales. I am an outstanding team player, innovative in my approach to work whilst also taking great pride in fulfilling my responsibilities for my employer. I am flexible, conscientious and trustworthy and enthusiastic about my work. I can be relied upon to deliver everything that I set out to achieve, ensuring that it is completed to a high personal standard and within given timeframes.”
CV Writing TIP #6 – How To Write A Cover Letter
The final thing that you need to take care of when sending a CV off to employers, is the covering letter or covering email. Your cover letter is your chance to introduce yourself to the employer, and make sure you stand out from the crowd.
The main rule when creating a covering letter is to make sure you keep it short and simple. This can vary depending on who you are applying for, but the crux is in making sure that you are polite, and clear about why you are applying for the role.
Below, I have provided you with a shorter sample CV covering letter/email:
Name: Your name
Email address: your [email protected]
SUBJECT: Application for [Enter Job Role Here]
Please find attached my CV in support of my application for the position of [ENTER JOB ROLE HERE] with your company. I believe that I possess the skills, qualities and attributes required to perform the role to an exceptional standard and feel strongly that I would be a great asset to your company.
I would very much like the opportunity to prove my skills to you at interview and can be contacted on [TELEPHONE NUMBER HERE] at any time.
Your name here
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE CV WRITING TEMPLATES
You can now download 6 FREE CV templates at the following link!
If you have any questions about the CV writing process, drop them in the comments section at the bottom of this blog and we’ll be happy to advise!
6 thoughts on “How To Write A Brilliant CV: Top CV and Interview Tips”
This is great advice Jordan! I like the fact the cover letter is short and sweet. Nowadays cover letters don’t have to be that long to get the recruiters attention. I recently read a report that some (not all) recruiters prefer candidates didn’t send them since they rarely have time to read it. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, we agree! Recruiters don’t want to waste time reading lengthy cover letters. Keeping it as short and concise as possible is vital for success.
The How2Become Team.
Thank you JORDAN COOKE for sharing tips for getting your CV writing tips. Great article.
hello can you send me some examples of CV?
I would recommend to customise the skills section of your resume, and ensure that it matches the job posting. The higher the number of phrases within the resume matching the job requirements the more are the chances that the recruiter will pick you for the job.
Great tip Sara! A CV should always be tailored to the job you are applying to.