You may have just graduated from university and this may be your first attempt at a CV. You may be looking to move from your current role to further your career or you may have been looking for a job after a year out. Whatever your circumstance you need a CV that sells you to a potential employer. Your first step is to take a couple of hours where you can sit down, do your research and write a really good CV.

If you are completely bewildered by the prospect there are lots of sources of information that can help. From CV writing to what potential employers are looking for you will find lots of information over at 10 minutes with blog section.

Planning your CV

First of all you will need to plan how you are going to layout your CV but don’t worry as there are lots of sources of help and you can download a free CV template from many sources. You will find many templates are structured for a range of circumstances from your first job as a graduate to applying for promotion.

You will also need to note down highlights – things that you have achieved, qualifications you have and experience. Once you have your notes and template the rest should be straight forward but there are some do’s and don’ts that you need  to consider:

Unexplained Gaps

Have you taken a year off to go travelling or had a long gap between previous jobs? This doesn’t go unnoticed and you will need to be prepared to offer an explanation. Include a short explanation in your CV – don’t end on your last job and then start again at the next point. You need to ensure you get an interview so you need to answer these questions in your CV.

Job hopping

Did your last 3 jobs only last 3 months each? Were you struggling to settle as these roles weren’t for you. Recruiting is a time consuming and expensive process and employers will see this as a potential risk

Poor presentation

If you don’t pay attention to detail in something as important as your CV then what does that say to an employer? In fact you are unlikely to make it to interview stage when pitched against other employees. Make sure your CV is well presented, well articulated and that your spelling and grammar is correct.

Interests and hobbies

Believe it or not these can sometimes strike a chord with potential employees. You may do a form of martial arts and someone reading your CV may also have a similar interest. Your interests can say a lot about you as a person and your personality so make sure you include them. You don’t need to overdo it with paragraphs but if your are a black belt in Taekwondo or are a regular marathon runner then share this. All of this is information helps the recruiter to form a decision about you as a person before they have even met you.