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Tips for writing CV suitable for the UK Job Market

  • In Career Advice
  • 11 Nov 2021, 05:24 AM
  • By Technologist Confidant
Tips for writing CV suitable for the UK Job Market

Introduction:

When you apply for the position, you attach a CV to your application and send it. You wait and wait, but nothing. Your inbox is calmer than Brighton Pier on a damp December afternoon. So, what's the matter? The issue is that every job posting gets dozens of candidates, and recruiters will only choose the best. So, how can you draft a CV that will get you called in for an interview?

Every CV is unique since you want to demonstrate why your abilities qualify you for the position you're seeking at the time, but they all follow a similar format. However, we have addressed all of the difficulties that you may encounter when creating the ideal CV. This article will provide essential tips for writing an excellent CV ready for hunting for a job in 2021 and beyond in the UK.

Curriculum Vitae (CV): What is it?

A curriculum vitae, often known as a CV, is a document used when applying for jobs. To sell yourself to potential employers, you can summarise your credentials, skills, and experience. Employers frequently need a cover letter in addition to your CV. In Canada and the United States, CVs are known as résumés. The CVs are often shorter and do not adhere to any specific formatting guidelines. What is the optimal CV length?

In the United Kingdom, a standard CV should not exceed two sides of A4 sheets. However, there is nothing as a universal solution. A fresh graduate with little experience, for example, may need to use one side of A4. A three-page CV may be required for those with a high level of expertise or who have worked in various firms in the last five to ten years. Detailed medical or academic CVs may be longer, depending on your experience. While it is crucial to keep your CV brief, you should avoid selling your experience short.

Provide the most significant components of your education and experience to save some space on the CV. Stick to pertinent details and avoid repeating what you said in your cover letter. If you're having trouble editing your CV, consider whether particular details sell you. If it doesn't work, remove it. If it isn't relevant to the position you're going for, eliminate it, and if it's a piece of outdated information from 10 years ago, summarise it.

Writing a Good CV:

A solid CV is devoid of spelling and punctuation problems. Make use of a spell checker and enlist the assistance of a second pair of eyes to go through the CV once it's finished.

Include terms like 'developed,' 'analysed,' and 'devised,' for example, to portray oneself as a self-starter.

Overused keywords like 'team player,' 'hard worker,' and 'multitasker' should be avoided. Instead, provide examples from real-life scenarios that demonstrate all of these skills.

Create a CV that matches your current employment or academic status. Make sure to have a professional email ID and if you don't have one, then create one!

Refrain from lying or exaggerating on your CV or job application. You will not only be displaying your dishonesty to a potential employer, but you will also be risking severe penalties. For instance, changing your degree grade from a 2:2 to a 2:1 is considered a degree fraud and can result in a prison sentence.

If you're going to put your CV online, don't include your home address since scammers could target you.

Always add a cover letter unless the employer asks otherwise. You will be able to customise your application using it. Through the cover letter, you will be able to draw attention to a particular portion of your CV or explain gaps in your employment history.

What Should your CV Include?

While a CV's format is adaptable to your skillset and experiences, there are some components that employers want to see on every CV.

Your CV must include the following components:

  • Contact Information: Include your full name, home address, phone number, and email address. However, some of the companies are adopting the practice of 'name-blind recruitment' or accepting a 'blind CV' in an attempt to curb discrimination and so you must not share your name and address while applying to such organisations. Instead, you can include your phone number and email address.
  • Profile/Summary: A CV profile/summary is a brief statement that emphasises your essential skills and distinguishes you from the competition. It's usually seen at the top of a CV and highlights a few key accomplishments and talents while expressing your professional goals. Your cover letter will be job-specific, so an excellent CV profile will focus on the industry you're planning to work in.
  • Educational Qualifications – All past education, including professional degrees, must be listed and dated. Put the most current at the top. Mention specific modules only when they are necessary.
  • Professional experience – In reverse chronological order, state your work experience, ensuring that everything you include is relevant to the position. Include your formal title, the name of your organisation, how long you've been there, and any essential duties. This part should appear before schooling if you have a lot of relevant job experience.
  • Skills and accomplishments – This is where you list any foreign language you know and the computer programmes that you can use fluently. You should include vital abilities that are relevant to the position. Don't oversell your skills because you'll have to back up your statements during the interview. A skills-based CV is an attractive choice if you have several job-specific talents.
  • Interests – Mentioning interests like ‘socialising' and 'reading' may assist in portraying an image of who you are personally and provide you with something to talk about during an interview. If you want to be a journalist, you can write your blog or community bulletins or if you want to work in the environmental industry, you can get involved in various campaigns associated with climate change activism. Make sure to include all the interests that will add value to the job position.
  • References – At this point, you do not need to submit the names of your referees. You can say 'references available upon request,' but most employers would assume this, so you can leave this out if you're short on space.

Correctly Formatting and Spacing a CV:

If you're not sure how to structure your CV, it's a good idea to start by going through a few CV templates. After all, your CV's layout and space are just as vital as its content.Here are some formatting and spacing suggestions to consider:

  • Heading: Each part must be introduced by a large and bold heading for easy reading.
  • Type of Font: Choose a clear typeface like Calibri, Ariel, Bookman Old Style, Times New Roman, or Verdana because most companies will get your CV in digital format. You can choose a different font type for your headlines, but keep it professional and simple to read.
  • Page margins and font size: Use a 10-to-12-point font for your CV's body and a 14-to-18-point font for the headers. To avoid making the CV cluttered and hard to read, maintain page margins of 2.5cm or less, but never less than 1.27cm. Remember, white space promotes professionalism and clarity.
  • Proofreading and consistency: To keep your CV looking professional, firstly, make sure the formatting, font, and colour schemes are consistent throughout; and secondly, the choice of language, whether British English or American English, should also be consistent. Don't let typos, punctuations, and errors ruin your professional appearance; proofread like an expert to catch every mistake, or invest in clever spellcheckers like Grammarly.
  • Customisation, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs), and Keywords: It's fine to maintain a generic copy of your CV for your records, but it must be customised to the position if you're applying for a job. This will not only demonstrate to employers why you're a good fit, but it will also assist your application to defeat the ATS robots.
  • Saving and naming the file: You'll most certainly send your CV by email or via a job board like CV-Library. Recruiters will be able to open your CV on any device if you save it as a PDF file. Because a PDF file preserves the formatting, you can be sure that companies will read your CV the way you intended. And always name the file in format so that recruiters can easily find you through the clutter of submitted CVs.

What mustn't you include in your CV?

There are some details on your CV that you should not mention. Here are a handful of points that you must avoid:

  • A picture of yourself: In many countries, including a photo of yourself on your CV is standard practice. On the other hand, the UK is not one of them and you should only attach an image if you're looking for an acting or modelling job.
  • Date of birth and age: The only dates on your CV should include those from your work and education. Your age doesn't influence your ability to perform the job.
  • Civil Status: Your marital status and dependents, like your age, have no bearing on your ability to perform your work. Employers cannot inquire about this information since they are protected attributes under the Equality Act 2010, therefore don't mention them on your CV.

Though CVs in English-speaking nations are generally similar, each country has its unique quirks that one must consider for the best outcomes. Pay attention to the particular criteria of each employer while writing a UK CV, and if necessary, have someone you trust check through your CV before submitting your application. Having your CV crafted to the market needs from the start will assist you in finding a job faster. Your CV is your opportunity to create a positive first impression and land an interview with a potential employer.