Friday, 28 September 2012

CVs - ten top tips

You want part-time work and CV is your shop window. Today I am going to concentrate on this and I’ll share my research on covering letters another day. I’ve dipped into many advice sites and, after more than 20 years in the working world, I’ve added some of my own hints and tips, too. Here's what I've found to help out women and/or mums who want part-time work:
  1. Most CVs are sent electronically so save your CV in a format that everyone can use – not everyone will have the latest version of Word.
  2. Keep it to no more than two pages, one is even better because WE’RE ALL LAZY! No one wants to wade through three pages or more. Make sure the front page gives them everything they need – GOLD, GOLD, GOLD.
  3. Keep it brief and to the point – see number 2.
  4. Make it look easy on the eye with space between headings. No one wants to read ANY text that has no paragraphs or white space – it’ll give as much impact as a flasher in a nudist colony.
  5. Ensure you have correctly spelled the name of the person you are addressing your covering letter to. I was once freelancing at a well-known national women’s magazine when THE BOSS started browsing through the CVs of people applying for a vacancy.

    She had an unusual first name. The CVs/letters of all those applicants who assumed her name had been spelt wrong in the job ad and “corrected” it were ripped up and filed in the bin.
  6. Don’t leave any gaps in your employment time line. Who wants awkward questions? Find a way of explaining them in a positive manner.
  7. Expand on the experience that is relevant to the role you are applying for.
  8. Write a short personal statement that summarises your skill set and why you are the best candidate for the job. This should also be detailed in the covering letter.
  9. Don’t put in the contact details of referees unless asked to. You want to be in control of who’s talking to whom. Simply say references are available on request but many employers know this is implied on CVs anyway.
  10. Make sure there are no spelling errors throughout your CV. That’s NONE! NO. SPELLING. MISTAKES! You don’t want to give any potential employer an excuse to file your CV in the bin as they reach for the next one.

There are so many tips out there. Hope my cherry-picking blog gives you some help. Next blog is all about CV bloopers! There are some real beauties.

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