Preparing Your CV and Cover Letter
Tips for Writing a CV That Gets Noticed
Your CV is a tool that allows you to give the best possible first impression as a potential employee or contractor, and it can make a powerful difference as to whether you secure an interview.
Here are a few tips to help you present your CV as professionally as possible.
- Keep it simple and to the point – four to six pages max. Stick to a font that is easy to read – we suggest Arial 11 or Calibri 12. Avoid the use of fancy graphics and tables which are difficult to scan. Use lots of ‘white space’.
- If your career spans more than 10 years, just list the company names and dates for earlier roles.
- Put your employment history and education/qualifications in reverse chronological order – including dates started and finished.
- Do mention your availability – the date you can commence work.
- Include your Visa status – this is important as it clearly states your legal ability to work. If you have not received your visa yet, list it as pending and give an idea as to when you expect a decision on your status. Remember to include how long you have left for eligibility if you have used up a portion of your visa.
- If you hold more than one passport, list the nationalities – this could be useful.
- Keep sentences short and punchy. Sell your key skills and experience by giving examples of projects or achievements.
- • Always spell check for grammar and spelling. Errors can ruin an otherwise well written CV. Have a friend or family member read your CV before submitting – a fresh pair of eyes is always good. Read your CV out loud – this helps with style and tone.
- Always attach your CV with a cover letter that is relevant to the role you are applying for. Use the cover letter to introduce yourself and ensure you provide at least one reason why your experience suits the role.
- Don’t mention your date of birth, marital status, gender or religion – these should have no relevance to your employment.
- Don’t leave gaps in your CV. If you took time out of employment or study because of travel, health reasons or unemployment, include this information in your CV.
- Although photos are often published on sites like LinkedIn, do not include these on your CV, as they may open you up to discrimination. They can also make your CV difficult to scan into some databases.
- Do not use abbreviations or acronyms unless they are commonly used in your industry.