Tonic tips: CV basics

Tonic tips: CV basics | 22/08/2017

A great CV is essential when looking for work, especially when there are high volumes of candidates applying for the same job – but how do you make yours stand out?

There is no specific template for a CV per se. They can be tailored for different jobs and organisations, as some roles may require greater emphasis on certain criteria. They must however be clearly laid out, completely free of errors and really ‘sell’ you to the hiring manager.

In general your CV should be neat and clear enough for a hiring manager to scan and understand quickly. It should also be easy to assess your key skills and work experience to determine whether you’re appropriate for the role.

Still not sure where to start? Here are some basic rules to follow when writing a CV.

Make sure that your personal details are clearly marked at the top of your CV. You’d be amazed how many people forget to include their name, email, contact number and address. This is the only personal information you need here, your DOB, relationship status and age for example is not necessary.

Personal statements offer a good opportunity to explain to a potential employer why you think you’re suitable for a role. Keep it short, but be sure to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the role and the company you are applying for.

The work experience section should include any experience you have in the field for which you are applying. When listing work experience, always start with the most recent first and include your job title, time in the post, responsibilities and name of the organisation. Bullet points make for a more snappy, easy to read CV so use them here.

Relevant job related skills and achievements should be highlighted following your work experience, giving clear examples of how you would apply these to a new role.

A formal list of qualifications and training/development you’ve undertaken should follow. Each activity should include the name of the qualification/training, the date it was completed and should be listed in order of most recent completed.

It’s also good to list hobbies and interests, if they involve key skills relevant to the role you are applying for or if they are a talking point and show that you are a well-rounded person. Team work, responsibility and leadership are great examples of skills worth mentioning… no one wants to know that you like to socialise with friends and enjoy the cinema.

Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or for gaps in career history should also be included as required.

Remember, your CV is often your first impression on an employer, so make sure it stands out. Ensure that it reflects your best qualities, is presented professionally and free of errors, and is tailored specifically for the role that you are applying. You can always provide greater detail in a covering letter.