Candidate Tips & Advice
Constructing your CV
As a contract or permanent employee your CV/Resume sells you to your potential employer. So, you should take extreme care in preparing a CV/Resume that will be a professional presentation of your qualifications.
There are many acceptable CV formats and methods of preparation. This article offers just a few of the basic guidelines for preparing a CV.
Tips . . .
- Include only necessary personal information. Note "Under contract to" for any contract assignments you may have had.
- Include total number of years experience.
- Give security status, if any.
- If your security clearance has expired, include the date of expiration.
- Write job descriptions in easy-to-understand terms, and as completely as space allows.
- Include your name and page number on each page of a multiple page CV (except no number on first page).
- If you are sending your CV to potential employers electronically, e-mail it to a friend first to check that the layout remains as you intended it.
Keep it simple
- Eliminate all extra spaces between lines (except between job assignments).
- Use narrower margins.
- Keep job descriptions to 3-5 sentences (less for older positions).
- If your "length" problem is due to an extensive number of job assignments, leave the oldest positions off and type the following at the bottom of the last page of your CV: "Experience from (date) to (date) available upon request." Then prepare a "complete" CV to furnish only to firms asking for it.
- Use A4 paper.
- Make your CV as legible as possible.
- Include ALL relevant contact details.
- Include your job discipline(s) near your name at the top of page one of your CV and as a title to each assignment.
- Include a summary paragraph near the top of your CV.
- Include all relevant education and/or training.
- List jobs in reverse chronological order.
- Don't include your National Insurance or social security number.
- Don't use a "Job Objective." A "Job Objective" tells the firms what you want from them whereas a "Summary" tells what you can do for them.
- Don't exaggerate your experience.
- Don't offer explanations for leaving prior employers.
- Don't use your photograph.
- Don't use abbreviations (except those that are acceptable in the engineering/technical fields).
Scanning your CV
Many contract firms are utilising scanners to input CVs into their computer databases. Because of that, new guidelines are required that will enable firms to scan your CV. Here are a few recommendations that will make your CV "scanner ready":
- Use white paper and black ink.
- Don't underline words.
- Don't use script or other fancy typefaces.
All letters should be of the same quality (no light or broken letters, no smudgy or filled-in letters, etc.).
- Use adequate margins (at least 1/2" on all sides).
- Don't hand write anything on your CV.
- If using a dot matrix printer, utilise the best quality of type the printer provides (i.e. letter quality, dark copy, etc.).
- Avoid boxes or unusual configurations.