CV Advice

What is a CV?

CV – Curriculum Vitae – or a resume, is the most important document when applying for a job. Think of the CV as a tool you use to market yourself; in addition to easily and clearly displaying your personal information, it can showcase your skills, education, and working experience. Click below for additional CV Advice:

CV Advice on Content:

Permanent: 2 – 3 pages
It is recommended that your CV is up to 2 pages in length. If you have worked for a number of companies or projects, your CV may look best when extended onto a third page.

Contract: 3 – 4 pages
As with permanent, it is efficient to tailor your CV to be in the 2-3 pages in length, but if you have worked on multiple short term projects or assignments, it may be best to use up to 4 pages.

  A CV greater than four pages in length should be discussed with your Benson Price consultant, as we will be able to offer tailored advice, including changes to prevent your CV from being too lengthy.

Firstly, position your contact details on the page in an area where they can be easily found. At the top of the first page is our recommendation, as your location is very important to the reviewer. You should include your:

  • Full Name
  • Home Address
  • Contact Telephone Numbers (mobile, home & work)
  • Email Address (sensible personal and work)
  • LinkedIn Profile ID (if applicable)

  Double check your contact details are correct, ensuring that they are all up to date.

Personal Statements may not be essential, but a solid Personal Statement can certainly help to project your experience and expectations to the reviewer. A good Personal Statement requires 2-4 sentences, and can look great located underneath your contact details. Personal Statements instantly show the reviewer that you have taken the time to recognise their requirements, creating an instant rapport, and securing their attention in you.

A Personal Statement, although very helpful, can have to potential to cause confusion if you are applying to multiple positions and forget to change this on a job by job basis. Make sure you check this is relevant to the exact position and its requirements before applying.

Based upon your job experience, it is best to order your education and history accordingly. If you are a recent University graduate, your strengths will be in your academic achievements and projects. If you are a long-time industry guru your USP will be your hands-on experience, in addition to your academics.

List each of your qualifications/accreditations, specifying where and when you achieved them. Position your most highest level, or most relevant, achievement first and work from there. Try to keep the list relevant to the application.

A proven method of laying out dated lists, inside your CV, is to align the title and contents upon the left of the page with corresponding dates on the right. This allows for blank space to pleasantly break up your parts, increasing their overall impact.

It’s best to begin with your current or most recent role first. Detail who you worked for, what you did at your position and for how long. Make sure to specify any niche skill set or expertise you may have attained, which are relevant to your application.

Highlight your expertise in bullet point form. The reviewer will be looking keywords and skill, so make yours easy to find at a glance.

Briefly mentioning your Hobbies and Interests can help to add more of your personality to your CV. Consider listing key or relevant hobbies or interests, but avoid consuming valuable space.

Additional Considerations:

Covering Letters depend on the employer; some employers may not require a covering letter, choosing to favour a short phone interview, and some like to see one attached to every application. Your Benson Price Consultant will be able to advise.

The content of your Covering Letter should start with a targeted introduction of yourself to the prospective reader. You should consider the skills and expectations of the job you are applying to, creating an extension of the Personal Statement at the top of your CV.

Ensure that your Cover Letter explains how you have previously applied the skills required in the job description.

If you do have extended periods between activity in your CV it is best to not to try and hide them. Where possible, explain the reasons as to why. It would be best to discuss with your Benson Price Consultant, who shall provide you with suitable advice before submitting your application.

It is recommended mention the following topics on your CV:

  • Reason for leaving
  • Salary

These topics can lead to a miscommunication or poor assumptions to be made, which play a factor in the initial CV screening. Contact your Benson Price Consultant if you are unsure about any topics inside your CV.

Run a spelling, punctuation and grammar check on your CV, Covering Letter and any other accompanying documents, ensuring that you have read through the contents multiple times. Any mistakes in spelling, punctuation or grammar will raise doubts over your attention to detail. Ask a family member or friend to review your CV as well.

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