Ralph Watkins

January 10, 2019

The first step towards a new job is often having the right CV.  Different industries tend towards different preferred CV templates, but all good CVs have a few key points in common.

These top tips are all based upon real life examples that our clients have shared with us.

  1. Put your name and contact details on the top of the CV. This makes it easier for a prospective employer to pick out your CV at a glance.
  2. Use URLs but not too many. It can be useful to have a URL to your LinkedIn profile (for example) at the top of your CV, and URLs to the profiles of your referees at the bottom of your CV
  3. Use a professional looking e-mail address on your CV, e.g. not batman123@gotham.co.uk
  4. Make your CV clear and readable. Use a professional font, rather than an exotic or unusual one.  Make the font size no smaller than 12.  Make sure you leave at a least a standard margin size around the edges of your CV, with spaces between the characters.
  5. Avoid spelling and grammatical errors. It is a good idea to have a friend proof-read your CV.
  6. Print your CV to make sure it looks good in both paper and electronic formats.
  7. Sell yourself. Your CV should have an introductory paragraph that describes your skills, qualities, aptitudes and unique selling point that differentiates you from the other CVs in the inbox or on the pile. List your roles and your key achievements in each, in chronological order, starting with the most recent.
  8. Less is more. There is a natural temptation to be exhaustive in writing your CV to list every accomplishment, all the way back to your first swimming certificate.    Prospective recruiters are more likely to focus on your CV if they can see your fit with their criteria quickly.  Judicious editing, focusing on your essential skill set, is critical.  Your CV should not take up more than two sides of A4.
  9. Make sure your professional and social media profile(s) on LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter etc. match your CV (and each other). Checking these is something that a prospective employer is likely to do.
  10. Don’t lie. A recent Yougov poll revealed that 10% adults in the UK have lied on their CV (Plus 2% who ‘prefer not to say’ – which means they did too!).  The most common lies were education and qualifications (40%), the length of time spent in a previous job (35%), their level of experience (30%), personal interests (29%), their previous job titles (21%).  If these untruths are not uncovered at the CV stage, they will almost certainly surface afterwards.  One client of ours told us about a candidate who claimed on his CV to have been a professional ice hockey player.  He had the misfortune to be interviewed by a Canadian who was a fanatical fan of the sport and who quickly discovered that this candidate’s claim was based on his having skated on a local rink, once, when he was twelve.

Venture further with Vallum. At Vallum we help our candidates prepare their CVs to find the right job for them.  Contact vallum@vallum.co.uk to find out more.

Ralph Watkins