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to be utterly confused about CV?

(9 Posts)
avivabeaver Mon 12-Nov-12 15:05:38

I am a reasonably intelligent and sensible human being.

I am throwing myself into my first serious job hunt for years. I put together a cv but having looked at some websites, it is seriously making my head hurt.

what should a cv look like for heavens sake? mine is simple, profile (about 8 lines), education/prof quals and then work history.

should i have a skills section? should i put hundreds of wizzy verbs in?

what is your CV format and does it bloomin work? or if you work in recruitment, what puts you off?

CailinDana Mon 12-Nov-12 15:17:37

A CV should be two pages maximum. Everything should be laid out as neatly and clearly as possible with all the relevant information available and easy to read. Use bullet points, and short, to the point, sentences. Tailor the CV to the job as much as you can.

Trills Mon 12-Nov-12 15:21:46

Depends what kind of job you are applying for.

If you are applying for jobs that are pretty much exactly like your previous jobs, put work history first.

If you are applying for jobs that require particular qualifications, the qualifications should be prominent.

If you are applying for a job that is a bit different to what you have done previously a section on skills (at the top) would be more valuable than listing your qualifications or previous work.

What does the person handling applications most need to know about you? Whatever it is, put that at the top.

Wilding Mon 12-Nov-12 15:35:32

It really does depend on industry and what sort of things you're applying for, as Trills says. I recently re-jigged mine as I'm applying for things in a slightly different sector to the one I was working in previously. Mine has a quick summary about me at the top (two lines), bullet points of key skills, then current positions (I have more than one job, including voluntary work), then work history, then training/education. But I have quite a checkered work history and this is the way that presents me best - if you have quite a straightforward progression of jobs a simpler arrangement might be better.

WilsonFrickett Mon 12-Nov-12 15:49:35

a brief profile (2 sentences), then my key skills (top 5 with 2 sentences each) then for my jobs just role, company and date, no blurb. I don't put my quals on as they aren't ever relevant to jobs I'm going for. Whole thing fits on one page. The beauty of putting skills first is it's easier to tailor, re-order whatever. And if the job description called for, say, copywriting, PR and team management then I would make my skills copywriting, PR and team management, in that order.

greeneyed Mon 12-Nov-12 16:08:30

Sound as if you are along the right lines - no to lengthy skills section and no to lots of wizzy verbs!

Don't worry about the two pages rule - I am recruitment professional in a technical sector and two pages for experienced candidates often would not be enough to detail relevant information - don't however go over 4!

Keep it simple - no photos, fancy formatting etc - Stick to statements you can provide evidence for and tangible information - If you are in sales then provide figures (i.e. % of target, league table position etc)

Lengthy skills profiles in advance of career history just annoy me as it takes me longer to find out what the candidate is actually experienced in - a short summary is fine

Detail your educational qualifications, professional qualifications, then career history starting with most recent - cover any gaps in your CV - i.e 2007 - 2009 - Career break raising young family or 2003 - 2004 Gap year travelling - or seeking suitable permanent employment etc. - If you have made lots of moves which may look questionable on your CV you may wish to include reasons for leaving i.e. Redundancy, Role not turned out as envisaged etc

List any achievements, special projects etc under each specific role

Do tailor it for each job you apply for - highlighting the most relevant job duties and achievements

There is no excuse for spelling mistakes - get someone to proof read it for you. Also people have a tendency to overuse capital letters in CVs so watch out for this.

Be careful with hobbies and interests, you may find your collection of dwarf rabbits or military history fascinating but it may be viewed as quirky, geeky etc by the hiring manager.

Remember a recruiter may be looking at hundreds of CVs in a day and if the relevant information i.e professional qualifications recent job etc is hidden on page two or three they might just give up and move on to the next one. If you wish to provide additional information supporting your application you can do so in a covering letter. Good luck!

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Nov-12 18:55:35

Hello OP
We have moved this to our Going Back To Work topic
V best of work with the move.

Trills Mon 12-Nov-12 19:03:06

I think you mean "luck" Olivia smile

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 12-Nov-12 19:29:14


V best of work with the move.


I think you mean "luck" Olivia smile

Yes indeed <head,desk>
Best of LUCK with your Search OP

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