1. Design it – use a template to make your CV easy to read, with bold headlines and bullet points for clarity. Keep sentences short and use a classic, point size 12 font. Overdoing it makes it unattractive to read and harder to pull out the crucial information.
  2. Keep it short and to the point – it is generally known that employers and recruiters spend approximately eight seconds reading a CV before sending it to the YES or NO pile. Keep this in mind; they are not going to read your lengthy and amazing work experience details from when you were 16!
  3. Use keywords – if a recruiter has received a large quantity of CVs, they may search using ‘buzz words’ depending on the job role. Ensure you use these in your personal statement, CV and cover letter to ensure you are in the search results. Look at the company website and job description to decide what these words should be.
  4. Don’t leave gaps in your employment history – this makes people question your openness. If you have spent time unemployed, be honest but report any experience you gained in this time, eg further education or voluntary work.
  5. Back up your achievements – do this using numbers (eg sales increased by 50%) or by using evidence (eg gained a certificate in IT training).
  6. Don’t lie – You will be caught out in an interview or through references when it is thoroughly checked by HR. Be honest to save that embarrassment.
  7. Make sure your CV is up to date – don’t leave it sitting for a few months and then send without checking. It needs to be current, up to the date you send it.
  8. Get it checked – don’t make the mistake of sending it without having someone you trust check your spelling, grammar and tense use throughout. These types of error give an employer an easy reason to dismiss you.
  9. Change it for each job application – this is time-consuming and very easy to swerve. However, tailoring the skills you highlight depending on the job and company will make a difference. Do this by researching the employer and what they specifically look for.
  10. Write a personal statement to send with the CV – an employer won’t have the time to analyse how your experience makes you the right person for the job. Tell them this but, again, keep it concise.

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Interview Tips That Will Help You Get the Job

Experts from the best companies in the UK share their experience and advice on how to boss the interview process

interview tips

Jazz Panesar is a Digital and Technology Apprentice at Severn Trent. Read Jazz’s story here.

Have your own questions prepared. It's your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Your interviewer will expect you to have...
Research the Company. Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview question "What do you know about this company?"
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