So, the time has come to leave the classroom behind to embark on the money-earning stage of your life. Here are my top tips for the very basics of getting your CV right, in no particular order.
Keep it succinct. One page should be more than sufficient for the amount of experience you’ll have at this stage of your life. It needs to hold the recruiter’s attention so use bullets to separate concise points and keep the layout simple i.e. Education, work experience and additional information such as hobbies and interests.
Proofread it. And again. Then ask someone else to proofread it. Typos in a CV create a very poor first impression and, to some recruiters, these errors are unforgivable – you won’t get beyond the first hurdle.
Keep it professional. From your email address, to the format of the CV, to the words you use. Again, it’s all about first impressions, so using an immature (or questionable) email address, filling your CV with excessive graphics and using slang words or text speak are not wise.
Tell the truth. This is not the time for porkies, no matter how much you want to prove yourself. You’ll probably get found out in the interview anyway as the recruiter will push you to back up what you’ve claimed. Not only do employers want to hire someone they can trust but lying on your CV is technically fraud. It’s not worth the risk.
Make the most of what you have. Ok, so you don’t have years of work experience, but you will probably have achieved something by now whether it’s through school, a part-time job or hobbies you pursue. If you really don’t think you have anything to write about, this is the time to do something about it – get a weekend or evening job, start writing a blog about a topic you’re interested in, volunteer for a local charity, join a club or society. All of these will provide you with experiences and skills you can share and will show the recruiter that you’re industrious, enterprising and/or resourceful.