In the first stage of your new job search, you're only as good as you appear on paper. So if your CV isn't exactly selling you to the standards you were hoping for, it's going to need a little work.
You don't have to be a design guru or a creative wordsmith to write a great CV. The focus is on what you choose to include. The following pointers will help you to get the very best out of that one piece of paper that will ultimately pave the way to your shiny new career.
THE PERFECT CV
Experienced Retail Store Manager
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Summary of your background and skills
An overview of your experience relevant to the role, key achievements and what you're hoping to achieve in your future career.
- All relevant academic qualifications from GCSE onwards
- Any professional qualifications you've acquired along the way
- If you have something be proud of, get it on there!
- Driving licence
- Technical skills
- Computer skills
- Management skills
- List your greatest successes. Not just what you did, but how you did it in a way that exceeded expectations, smashed targets and made a real impact on the business.
- List your career history with your current or most recent job first.
- Include any factual statistics such as increased revenue, smashed sales targets and performance figures.
- Got gaps? Consider the softer skills you have learned. A period of job hunting will have developed your project management skills, while time out bringing up children will have nailed your time management skills. Watching Jeremy Kyle on the sofa while eating biscuits, however, doesn't really enhance your skillset, so think carefully on this one.
Hold up there, before you go listing your back catalogue of favourite things to do at the weekend, think carefully about your hobbies of choice.
A potential employer is far more likely to be charmed by a 'passion for photography' than an 'addiction to Instagram selfies'.
Consider how your hobbies portray you as a person before you begin. This is your CV, not your Facebook profile. And whatever you do, don't make them up... Murphy's law dictates that if you stick modern history as a hobby on your CV, you'll be interviewed by a modern history fanatic. Awkward.
YOUR CV CHECKLIST
Style and layout
Your CV should be clear, concise and easy to read on screen as well as in print. So don't get carried away with fancy fonts or colours, they're just distracting. Plus, unless you're applying for a design role, no-one is assessing your use of well-coordinated Pantones!
Information to include
Personal details: Less is more... no need to mention your age, marital status, shoe size and don't feel obliged to include a photo... it's not a modelling assignment.
Education: Include all relevant academic qualifications from GCSE onwards and any professional qualifications you've acquired along the way.
Other skills: It's worth including other skills you've gained, such as being able to drive or speak another language. They show you're a well-rounded person and while they may not be directly relevant to the job, they might just tip the balance in your favour.
Work experience: Recruiters want to know where you worked and the job you did. Avoid re-writing a copy of your job description - it doesn't exactly make for an exciting read.
Instead, list what you achieved, your greatest successes and include any factual statistics such as increased revenue, smashed sales targets and performance figures. If you can show you pretty much paid for yourself, you'll be more likely to grab a recruiter's interest.
Hobbies: Consider how your hobbies portray you as a person before you start reeling them off. And don't make them up!
Avoiding gaps in your CV
Make sure all the dates tie up. Gaps in your CV simply invite the recruiter to guess what you've been up to and come to the wrong conclusion. If you've spent time out of work for whatever reason, just be upfront about it.
Tailoring your CV
Take your job hunting seriously and tailor your CV to match the job you're applying for. Yes, we know it's boring, but you don't have to rewrite it every time. Simply highlight specific skills and experience to match the role you're applying for.
Achievement Based CV Template
Useful for Sales positions:
The Achievement Based CV template is ideal for displaying your key achievements when applying for sales positions. This allows you to grab an employers' attention and make them want to know more about your amazing talents...
Skills Based CV Template
Useful for Customer Service or IT roles:
Suitable for Customer Service or technically skilled candidates, the Skills Based CV template allows you to highlight your key skills in relation to a particular role. A potential employer is able to see at a glance, the skills and attributes you have to offer...
Internet Friendly CV Template
The Future Proof CV Template:
With online job boards becoming a more and more popular, time-saving way of getting your CV out there to the right people, The People Pod have created an Internet Friendly CV template to help you make the most of your CV.
Using keywords relevant to your current, and desired position, this CV template allows you to maximise the potential of your CV coming up in an employers' search.
Thus, maximising your potential for bagging that all important interview...
Retail Management CV Template
Useful for Retail Management roles:
Suitable for retail management opportunities, the retail management CV template allows you to highlight your key achievements in relation to a particular role. A potential employer is able to see at a glance, your achievements and the size of retail businesses that you have managed previously.