Re­vamp your CV

Your CV is of­ten your first chance to make an im­pres­sion on a po­ten­tial em­ployer. Nic Seph­ton-poult­ney, coun­try man­ager at Robert Wal­ters re­cruit­ment con­sul­tancy, gives point­ers on se­cur­ing your ideal role.

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keep it brief

“Your CV will grow as you gain ex­pe­ri­ence. How­ever, you should con­sider leav­ing out some in­for­ma­tion,” says Nic. “Pro­vid­ing a full em­ploy­ment his­tory is im­por­tant, as em­ploy­ers will prob­a­bly ask about any sig­nif­i­cant gaps, but once you’ve pro­gressed in your ca­reer, it may be best to re­move some of the de­tails of your ear­li­est jobs and to fo­cus on your re­cent and most im­pres­sive achieve­ments. A good rule of thumb: your CV should be four pages max­i­mum.”

don’t go over­board

“In­clud­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion such as your hobbies and in­ter­ests is fine, but do so spar­ingly. Re­mem­ber that a po­ten­tial em­ployer is look­ing for an over­view of your skills,

so think about what is rel­e­vant,” says Nic. “By pre­sent­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion in this way, you can in­crease your ap­peal and show your per­son­al­ity at the same time. These skills don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to be re­lated to the role in ques­tion. Trans­fer­able qual­i­ties like lead­er­ship skills are highly val­ued by em­ploy­ers across a wide range of roles.”

in­clude ref­er­ees

“Your po­ten­tial em­ployer will need to check your ref­er­ences to con­firm your em­ploy­ment his­tory, so have your ref­er­ees in mind when you ap­ply for a new role,” says Nic. “And make sure your pro­posed ref­er­ees are happy to be con­tacted be­fore you sup­ply their in­for­ma­tion. Even if you have a good re­la­tion­ship, don’t make as­sump­tions when you share their con­tact de­tails.”

no pho­tos

“While it is be­com­ing pop­u­lar among some pro­fes­sion­als to in­clude a photo on their CV, it can do more harm than good, as some em­ploy­ers may con­sider it un­pro­fes­sional,” says Nic. “A bet­ter op­tion is to add a pro­fes­sion­al­look­ing photo to your Linkedin pro­file. Many em­ploy­ers will check your pro­fes­sional so­cial me­dia pres­ence as part of the re­cruit­ment process and this is a more ap­pro­pri­ate place to have a head­shot.”

use a per­sonal email ad­dress

“Avoid us­ing your work con­tact de­tails when you ap­ply for other po­si­tions, un­less you have clar­i­fied your search with your

cur­rent em­ployer. And if you’re go­ing to set up a per­sonal ad­dress or some­thing sim­i­lar, be sure that it’s an ap­pro­pri­ate choice and avoid us­ing nick­names, as this could cre­ate a neg­a­tive im­pres­sion with a fu­ture em­ployer,” says Nic.

con­sider your cover let­ter

“A cover let­ter is only use­ful if it is tai­lored to the role in ques­tion. A generic let­ter is con­ve­nient, but it can cre­ate the im­pres­sion that you haven’t put in any ef­fort,” says Nic. “If you de­cide to in­clude one, use it to out­line where your skills and ex­pe­ri­ence ap­ply specif­i­cally to the role and en­sure that it is cor­rectly ad­dressed.” It goes without say­ing that the let­ter should be gram­mat­i­cally writ­ten and well pre­sented.

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