Our first blog post! How to write a good CV
Posted on Monday, March 23, 2020 by Lara Stewart — No comments
Welcome to the first Ozzle Jobs blog post!
We are excited to start this blog with the aim of helping job seekers, employers and recruiters by sharing useful tips and information. Our first post is about CV writing, but first I’ll start by introducing myself.
I’m Lara Stewart, the recruitment manager at Ozzle Jobs. Established in 2005, Ozzle Jobs is owned by Whitmar Publications, publisher of Digital Printer, FlexoTech and Digital Labels & Packaging magazines.
Prior to joining Ozzle Jobs I was a recruitment consultant for 6 years and in that time I wrote, reviewed and critiqued hundreds of CV’s in order to help candidates make the best first impression on a potential employer. It was a necessary part of the job but I also found it quite enjoyable as I got to learn a lot about different industries, job roles and what motivates people in their job search. I found that the more effort you put into writing your CV, the better chance you have of being taken forward in the hiring process.
To put it another way, if an employer has two CVs in front of them, one with basic information and not much substance, versus one with detailed passion and experience, which one do you think they will choose? This is just one of the lessons I learnt as a recruitment consultant and I want to pass on my expertise in CV writing to help all of our Ozzle Jobs candidates get their dream job in the ever evolving print, packaging and design sectors.
How to write a good CV
Making sure you have a well written and detailed CV is the first important step in your job search. Your CV is one of the first things a potential employer will see and it needs to stand out from the rest to get you noticed. This will improve your chances of progressing to an interview.
An employer or recruitment consultant will typically spend around 20 – 30 seconds reading your CV to form their first impression of you. Your CV needs to clearly outline your experience and what you can offer them/their client. Don’t waffle too much; a CV should ideally be no longer than 2 pages.
Below is our guide to help you write your CV.
- Your contact details
First and foremost, ensure your contact details are up to date so that the prospective employer can get in touch with you. You would be surprised at how many times people forget this, and then never hear back from a job they applied for.
Secondly, make sure you have a professional email address, for example using your full name. Some email addresses can be detrimental to your application if they are not professional, so I would recommend opening up a free email account that is just for job applications and isn’t something like firstname.lastname@example.org because this has the potential to do more harm than good.
- Add a personal profile at the start of your CV
Whilst a personal profile is not a ‘must include’ element, it is a great opportunity for you to provide a brief overview of your professional abilities and suitability for the role you are applying for. It is the first thing the employer or recruiter will read.
This personal summary should be kept brief and concise. Introduce yourself as an individual, highlight your skills, career achievements and the experience that you can offer.
- Key skills
Outline your key skills using bullet points – they are eye catching and provide an easy to read summary.
Focus on your skills that are relevant to the industry you are in/the job you are applying for. Always include any technology/software/machinery etc that you have been trained in.
Include industry specific buzz words where you can, for example:
- Die cutting
- Screen printing
Be careful not to add too many skills to your list – you can always expand on them at the interview stage.
- Education and qualifications
You can combine these two sections to avoid your CV being too long. Include a brief summary of what you studied, when and where. This can cover GCSEs, A-Levels, BTECs, degrees and any additional studies completed.
Make sure to include any industry specific qualifications that you have as this could make you stand out from other applicants.
- Employment history
List your jobs, starting with the most recent and working backwards. An employer/recruiter will not want to scroll through your CV to find your most recent role.
Employers like to see loyalty and longevity in potential employees, so if you have multiple jobs/promotions under one company, list the years you worked there and then separate the roles underneath, for example:
X Y Z Company 2001 – 2012
Role 1 –include details
Role 2 promotion – include details
Role 3 promotion – include details
Remember not to waffle too much; you can always elaborate on your experience to impress further at the interview stage. The key factors to cover here are what duties and responsibilities your job role entailed so the recruiter can see how this would benefit them in the role they are advertising.
- Other CV writing tips
Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to include names of references on your CV. Writing ‘References available on request’ will suffice – if an employer wants to take you on, they can ask for this information at a later date.
You don’t need to include a photo of yourself, this is a very outdated notion and generally recruitment consultants will have to remove this from the CV before sending it onto their clients anyway.
You don’t need to list your hobbies/activities outside of work. Just remember if it isn’t relevant to the role, it won’t be of any interest to the hiring manager.
Finally you don’t need to include salary expectations; this is a conversation to be had further down the line.
If you would like any further help or guidance, please contact us. If there are any topics you would like to see us cover on our blog, please let us know!