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Apart from the Jobcentre and local government agencies who just give you a one way approach, what are the best places or people to turn to for a well balanced view on my CV and Covering Letters, and some advice on any re-structuring that may need doing please, thanks.

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I can give you a few general tips for free - here and now.:thumbsup:


1 How long is your CV? It should be no more than 2 pages.


2 Prospective employers will spend somewhere between 5 and 30 SECONDS reading it initially. So, you have to hit them instantly with information that will grab their attention. This needs to be in the form of a headline summary that tells them all about you in a couple of sentences. Follow that with a few bullet points (up to 5) highlighting your key skills. Details of work experience comes next, usually in reverse chronological order, i.e. starting with the current or most recent employment. Detail your responsibilities and achievements/results clearly under each. Put approximate start and end dates of various jobs and be prepared to explain any gaps (not on the CV, but if you get to interview later).


3 Leave stuff like education, qualifications etc to the end of the document. It's important, in some cases, but it's not going to grab attention so it shouldn't be on the first page.


4 Never list references on a CV. Always put "available on request".


5 You don't have to put your age or date of birth on a CV. It may be better not to if you are over a certain age - as ageism is rife still, unfortunately.


6 Avoid attaching photographs to a CV - unless the employer has specifically requested this. Your appearance might not necessarily be an advantage - and I'm not suggesting you're ugly btw! Photographs don't copy very well and can make the document look messy when reproduced.


7 How's your spelling and grammar? If it's not good then get someone else to do your CV for you. Spelling and grammatical errors on a CV will almost certainly mean the CV is binned within a few seconds of viewing it. It's not about being able to spell necessarily, a lot of people can't do that and they still make very good employees. However, spelling and grammatical errors tell the employer that you are not a very thorough or methodical person for not getting it checked - and that will scupper your chances straightaway. Don't rely on spell checker in Word either. That can make some unfortunate substitutions or may be set to American English. Similarly, if you can't type, or type set a page, get it done by someone who can. Appearance is everything. So is the quality of the paper you print it on.


8 Don't staple it. Use a paper clip. People will want to take photocopies of it most likely and staples leave holes or tear the document when removed.


9 It's a good idea to put your name/email/telephone contact details in a footer of the document - as well as at the top of the first page. You can put this in small font so it doesn't take up much room. The reason for doing it is so that if the CV pages become seperated it is apparent to anyone who the CV belongs to. (Sorry, that should read..."to whom the CV belongs" - you see, I'm not perfect either!) :wink:


10 Choose your words carefully. Remember you only have a few seconds to make an impression. Use power words to describe what you have actually done - words like "Created" "Devised" "Developed" "Led" "Initiated". Also remember this - your CV is likely to be discovered not by a human but by a computer. So, the words in your CV have to be "searchable". A lot of CV's are scanned by computers doing a webcrawl. They highlight hundreds of CV's at a time and those with the closest word match in them come to the top. For example, if you are going for a job as an office secretary then you would ensure you list all the office programmes that you are familiar with in your CV because the computer will be looking for them. If you don't know what the KEYWORDS are for your profession then just look through a few job ads on the internet for the same profession and it should be obvious which they are. You MUST use these keywords if you want your CV to be found amongst the 000's out there.


I've done loads of this kind of stuff for big organisations and whilst some of it is specific to big organisations I think the principles apply to other types of employers as well.


Finally remember your CV is to serve a specific purpose - to get you an interview. That's it. A well-written CV will do that and it will also control the conversation at the interview in your favour - because it will lead people to ASK about the things you've put on it. So, the trick is not to tell everything on a CV, but to whet the employers appetite to make them want to ask you more.


Good luck!

Edited by DerbyTup
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Apart from the Jobcentre and local government agencies who just give you a one way approach, what are the best places or people to turn to for a well balanced view on my CV and Covering Letters, and some advice on any re-structuring that may need doing please, thanks.


Go to connections on glossop road

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