Your CV is a very important document. It may be the first time a prospective employer gets to know anything about you, especially if you haven’t had the opportunity of meeting him or her beforehand, so it’s vital that your CV makes an impression.
That doesn’t mean that you need to print it on coloured paper or use extra-large letters. No, what it means is that it should be neatly typed, on good quality paper and that the information on it is clear and easy to read.
Don’t forget, busy people don’t take the time to read through things properly at the first attempt, people skim the information first and then decide whether it’s worth reading. If they see a CV crammed so full of text that it is hard to read, they just won’t bother.
Here are a few guidelines to help you write a good CV
- Type it on a computer, if you can’t do it then ask a friend who can.
- Use Arial Font, size 12 – it is very clear to read
- Use either one or two pages of A4 paper and don’t write on the back. Your CV should be an outline of your work, experience and educational history, you want to give them enough to want to interview you, but don’t write long explanations.
- Use bullet points when you want to outline your hobbies or any clubs or associations you belong to.
- You can use Bold for headings.
What to put in your CV
Put your name, address, telephone number and email at the top of the CV. You should also put your SIA licence number on the top of the CV. You shouldn’t put your age or a photograph of yourself.
Start off with your work experience, start with the most recent first and then work your way backwards. List the jobs you have done and your responsibilities and achievements in those jobs. If you have just left school or college, put whatever work you did as a weekend or evening job, because this will show a prospective employer that you have been in a workplace situation.
Training and Skills
If you don’t have any work experience then start off with your Security Guard training course and the date you started and completed it. Bullet point the topics you covered such as First Aid, This is also the place to put things like Full Driving Licence, computer literate, or French basic conversation. Whatever skill you have that might be seen as an advantage.
List your qualifications. Include any education you have done and you can also include your SIA licence training.
Hobbies and Interests
Don’t list everything, but if you play football, do karate or go the gym regularly then put these things down. Include and clubs or associations that you belong to and don’t lie, it will be really embarrassing at the interview if your future boss turns out to be a member of the club you have written down and you don’t know a thing about it.
Check Grammar and Spelling
Make sure your spelling and grammar is correct. If you aren’t sure get someone to check it before you send it out. Spell check on Word is helpful, but it is not totally trustworthy and it is much better to have a human being look at it as well.
Put the CV in an A4 sized envelope, it means you don’t have to fold them and it keeps them clean. If you are able to hand deliver your CV that’s better. Make sure you look presentable because if you are lucky you might get to meet the person in charge of recruitment and if not, if you look good and your CV is clean and tidy, the receptionist will mention it when she hands the envelope over to the boss.