Before diving into each section of your CV in detail, it is important to know how to set the tone of a CV and create the best possible impact with the content that you choose to include.
Firstly, I strongly recommend using your own CV rather than one created from a job board profile or something similar. In my experience, CVs automatically generated by a job board will omit details, contain out of date contact information, jumble dates and incorrectly format the details within the career history. On several occasions, I have even received blank pages with nothing more than a name from one particular job board. Although job board profiles can be useful for other reasons, it may not have been written with a CV in mind, even if it did format into a CV correctly the other end. Add in that the finished product is likely to look like every other CV that comes through that job board, you can see how unlikely your job application is to stand out from the rest. When making job applications, select the option to upload your own CV instead or, if this is not an option, contact the employer and send your CV and covering letter/email to them directly.
Not only should you create your own CV (and use it), it also makes a huge difference to your application when you customise your CV for each job application. Doing your research in to the company, their values, the person specification for the vacancy and the skill sets required, gives you a lot of guidance on the content that should be included on the CV that you submit for that particular job application. Ensure that you address each part somewhere within your CV, hitting the key points within the top third (unfortunately, some CVs are not properly read past this point, with employers skim-reading (at best) the rest of the content if their attention is not grabbed soon enough by your CV).
Assuming that I have successfully convinced you of the benefits of creating your own CV, continue through our CV Guide series as we go into more detail on how to make sure that your CV increases your chances of landing your dream job, rather than unintentionally selling you short.
Further sections of our comprehensive guide to writing a CV:
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