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Candidates are increasingly thinking of new ways of formulating CV’s to “stand out from the crowd.” However, pushing creativity too far can be disastrous and they end up making a meal out of what should be a well-documented career path. This set of guidelines will help you format your CV, increasing your chances of securing that all important interview:
1. Personal information Name, address, notice period and salary expectation
2. Personal Profile This should be a paragraph based on your softer skills. It should always be targeted to the role you are applying for.
3. Key achievements There should be five or six maximum. These again should highlight your achievements within your roles to date. In order to ensure that you don’t ramble and keep your achievement succinct, use the STAR Format
4. Situation This should be two lines outlining the project
5. Task What was your role
6. Action What three things did you do in order to achieve your goal
7. Result Ensure that you are tangible- give %, figures and timelines in order to help the employer visualise your success
8. Career history & skills Your career should always be in chronological order starting with your most recent role. DO NOT – copy and paste your job specification in your current role – this is very easily picked up (as most are generic) – use it as a guide. Technical skills – Ensure that you highlight, systems, projects or languages if these are relevant to any role that you have been in
9. Education Again in chronological order, starting with any relevant professional qualifications – i.e. CIM. Highlight your dissertation if relevant to the role- although this tends to be more prevalent for graduates. You are not required to list every grade for A levels and GCSEs – simply number of grades A-C
10. Interests? Yes They should be on there – this sets you out from the crowd or when there is a shortlist scenario.
Try and avoid saying socialising with friends, playing football, going to the cinema – tell them where you like going, what team you support or what the last film you watched was.
Interesting interests – always stand out – i.e. – sword swallowing, log fluming, rock climbing. However, do not lie.
This two dimensional document is to ensure you get over that first hurdle so it is vital that you take the time to think through how you can portray yourself in the best light. For any further career and cv advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.
1. Have good manners. Be nice to everyone you meet during the hiring process, including the administrative assistants who schedule the interviews and bring you into the office. Even if the hiring process doesn’t formally solicit their feedback, you can be sure any bad impression you make on them will find its way back to the hiring manager.
2. Don’t focus solely on technology. If you’re interviewing for a leadership or managerial role, your job is more about people than tech. If you are looking for a technical job, you’ll have to interact with co-workers and colleagues in other business departments. If you make it clear you enjoy those interactions, you’ll appear more flexible than someone who wants to keep their head down and just code.
3. Be ready to explain how you’d get started. Companies are often hiring because they have an urgent need. Be ready to explain how your skills, background, and approach will let you hit the ground running.
4. Dress appropriately. It’s rare to need a suit and tie when interviewing for a technical position, but you should still bump your style up a notch. In some startups, casual, even sloppy, dress may still be appropriate for an interview, but even if you’re rumpled, you need to be clean.
5. Be ready to show your portfolio. Particularly for positions that emphasize creativity, such as user interface design roles, you may be asked to show samples of your work. Be mindful of any confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements you have with your current employer, but bring examples of your work when possible. (Don’t force an uninterested interviewer to look at it, however!)
6. Be ready to ask questions. You can plan questions in advance based on information you gather about the company online, but you’ll make an even better impression if you ask relevant questions about the specific opportunity that relate to information the interviewer gave you.
7. Indicate your interest in continuing development.
No one can afford to stop learning, whether in a technical or managerial role. Express your interest in continuing to develop your capabilities, including technical and leadership skills, and the company will know that your value to them won’t end just because a technology becomes obsolete.
8. Have your references ready. Companies expect that you’ll be able to provide references; not having a list of names handy makes you seem unprepared and can raise suspicions that you don’t have anyone who will vouch for you. Make sure you let your references know you’ll be giving their information out and they are willing to respond on your behalf.
9. Rehearse. You don’t want to give canned answers to interview questions, but you don’t want to ramble, either. Anticipate what you may be asked and think about your answers in advance. You can’t anticipate specific technical questions, but you can brush up on the relevant technologies to refresh your memory.
10. Remember the evaluation process goes both ways. Interviewing isn’t just about you impressing the company; the company also needs to impress you. Pay attention to the facilities and people you see; do you think you’d fit in and enjoy working here? That’s the most important interview question of all.