My name is Ayesha Hope, I am a second year Business student. I am currently writing and rewriting my CV on a daily basis as I am sure many of us are! I think we all know the importance of a CV and the general layout of one, but I’m going to give you some tips on how to make it stand out against the rest:
- Make sure you sell yourself – do not lie but consider what you have achieved; you may not think your part time job means very much but you will have learnt a lot skills which you did not have before! Show this off! (ALWAYS use the star technique see e.g. http://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/applications/supporting-statement )
- Position the most relevant information on the first page – for example, if you are a Business student and you’re applying for a Business related position you’re degree needs to be on the first page along with any relevant modules. If you are a biology student and you have work experience within this should also be on the first page, this is the first thing that you want them to see.
- Make sure it’s not generic – tailor your CV to each individual organisation. When you look at a job description look at what they are implying that they want from the person for example if they want someone that has attention to detail, adapt your personal profile to say this and why you have this skill.
- Back up your skills with an experience – if you just say that you are ambitious you need to explain why, how else are they going to know it is true? If you are reliable tell them why. It sounds so much better and makes you sound more like a real person.
- Use your hobbies – Think of appropriate interesting hobbies that make the employer want to know more for example if you like sport say which and how you are involved in it, simply stating that you like sport does not have any meaning.
- Sometimes gaining professional advice can be confusing, I had an employment adviser look at my CV then a seminar tutor from an employability skills related module asked to see it. Even though their advice was brilliant it was completely different, if this happens to you which I am sure it probably will take advice from both then your CV will be even more fantastic.
Look over your CV and apply these tips, it will make a world of difference!
Editor’s note: get more advice on CVs and applications through Careers Central, SHU’s dedicated resource for all topics relating to careers http://careerscentral.shu.ac.uk/ including forthcoming events, presentations and more about the STAR approach.