Sadly, there are many people in our industry who find themselves looking for work, due to the effects of the pandemic. It’s a given that there are less jobs available, with this in mind I am dedicating my next few articles to aiding your employability. However, even if you are still employed but furloughed, this could be the perfect time to work on your CV and make sure it is the best reflection of you, this month we will concentrate on that. Next month I’ll share some interview tips and in April we’ll cover how to try and engage effectively with a prospective employer.
So many people I have spoken to during my time in recruitment have struggled with their CV. I’ve even come across some very strong candidates who don’t have a CV at all! They have simply gained their employment through word of mouth, with their past achievements and ability when on a trial being all they need – quite a common journey in the hospitality sector.
A good CV is essential when looking for work, especially when there are high volumes of candidates applying for the same job, but what should it contain?
There’s no model template, everyone will have a slightly different view of what the perfect CV looks like. Of course, your CV should be neat and clear enough for a hiring manager or recruiter to scan and understand it quickly. Additionally, it should be easy to appraise your key skills and work experience to determine whether you’re appropriate for the role.
How to present your CV
Remember, your CV is a reflection of yourself, so it’s important that it’s well laid out and looks professional, it is the first impression that you will make, so make it count.
- Keep it short enough to read quickly and ideally no more than two sides of A4. Use bullet points to make it more professional and easier to read
- Choose a clear, professional font to ensure that your CV can be easily read
- Be clearly laid out in a logical order, with sufficient spacing and clear section headings (work experience, education)
- Avoid typing mistakes at all costs. A simple spell check is not enough: ask someone else to proofread your finished CV. Use a programme which checks for mistakes in spelling and grammar such as ‘Grammarly’.
- Order your work experience and education into reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent experience and achievements
Once you’re happy with how your CV looks, make sure that the content is perfect, highlight that you’re the right match for the job by outlining:
- Specific skills you have to offer the employer
- Experience you have in the specific field
- Appropriate personal qualities for the role
- An understanding of the job requirements
Still not sure where to start? Here are some basic rules you should follow.
What information should you include on your CV?
Personal Details: It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to include their name, email, contact phone number and address. Make sure these are clearly written at the top of your CV.
Personal Statement: Although optional, many jobseekers choose to include a personal statement in their CV as it’s a good opportunity to tell an employer about your suitability for the job. Keep it short and sweet and be sure to demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the role and the company.
Work Experience: This section includes any work experience that you have in the field you are applying for. When listing these work experiences include your job title, time in the post, responsibilities and the name of your organisation. Remember to list your most recent role first and work chronologically backwards. Bullet point this section so it is punchy and easy to read.
Within your previous work experience list achievements: List relevant skills and achievements from previous jobs, giving clear examples of how you would apply these to the new role. It is important here to add detail that can be quantified. For example, if I am a head chef writing about my previous roles, I will list the size of my brigade, what labour % I actualised against budget, what GP% I was working to and what my weekly food turnover was.
Education: List formal qualifications and any training and development undertaken, either independently or during previous periods of employment. Include ‘on the job’ training courses as these can be valuable.
Hobbies and Interests: Only include if the skills concerned are relevant for the job. There is no point listing that you’re sociable or that you enjoy going to the cinema for the sake of it.
Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history should be added as required.
Don’t forget, if you need help compiling your CV we’re always here to help. When candidates register to work with us, we always carry out a review of their CV to make sure it reflects them as best as possible to prospective employers. If anyone reading this would like one of the team at Tonic to evaluate their CV, we are happy to do so, just get in touch via one of our social channels or via the information form at www.tonictalent.com