Tailoring your CV

Given the increased competition that you will face in today's job market, there has never been a greater need for you to tailor your CV to each application. Your goal is to capture the employer's attention and secure an interview; therefore, the job description and person specification provided by the employer should dictate how you present your CV.

Ensure that the information is presented in a format that is easy to read, and that the spelling and punctuation is perfect. Many employers will reject a CV purely on the basis of a spelling mistake. Aim for no more than two pages in length, unless you are applying for a senior management role, and apply a consistent layout throughout. Keep it simple, with a basic font (Arial, size 10-12pt is recommended). A personal statement or profile directly beneath your contact details will also give an employer a snapshot of your key skills and personality.

Most employers identify key skills as the most important element of a CV, followed by the candidate's employment history, so be sure to include all relevant training, qualifications and apprenticeships.

Your competencies will be carefully scrutinised, as an employer will look for evidence that you can meet their technical and behavioural requirements. You need to list all your relevant experience, quantifying your personal achievements where possible. For instance, if you increased productivity by a measurable percentage, make sure you include this, as such information makes an impact.

Present your jobs history in reverse chronological order. You will need to include the organisation name along with your job title and the responsibilities you held. Any gaps in employment must be explained, and if you have been made redundant, demonstrate how you used your time wisely.

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