Having an effective CV is important when you're looking for a new job, including if you're applying to work at MacIntyre (we hope you do!).
What makes a good CV that will get you the job you want? If you ask ten different recruiters, you’ll probably get ten different answers.
But so long as your content is accurate and easy to understand, you’ll be streets ahead of most candidates. So we put together some pointers to help you.
Remember the basics
Remember to include your name and contact details, including email and the best phone number to reach you on. These usually go at the top. (We know, that’s obvious, but it’s amazing how many people forget to include how an employer can contact them quickly and easily.)
A personal statement
Include a few short sentences as a personal statement, perhaps including your values and the sort of job you’re looking for. If you're looking to change to a different career, or move to a different part of the country, this is a good place for a brief explanation.
Skills and work history
List your main skills and achievements from your career. Try not to be too vague or general. Saying “I’m good at helping people” is one thing. Saying “I supported someone with a disability to plan and achieve his lifetime goal and go sky-diving” is a much more impressive statement. Think about your life and your career. Be proud and specific about what you’ve done.
List your employers, in date order, starting with current or most recent.
Include the company name, your job title and a few sentences for each role about your actual duties. Include a brief explanation of any gaps of more than a month or so (this is a requirement for social care roles).
If you’re a student just leaving full-time education, include any weekend or holiday jobs, any volunteer work or similar.
If you're returning to the workforce after an absence, give a short explanation.
Include your place(s) of education and any qualifications gained, and any vocational qualifications.
Interests and hobbies?
Some people like to include an outline of their hobbies, interests and volunteer work. This is entirely optional, but can give a human voice to your CV and help an employer get a feel for who you are and what makes you tick.
What you don’t need to include
Age, date of birth, marital status, whether you have dependents, your NI number, bank details or anything like that. A photo (including a photo on a CV is normal in some countries but unusual in the UK).
It won’t go against you if you include any of these things, but they’re not necessary. Also, you’ll want to think about privacy and security with some of them. (MacIntyre will always keep your data secure, but if you’re applying for multiple jobs and posting your CV to job boards, your information may not be secure everywhere.)
Keep it simple
Keep the formatting simple. Unless you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer, don’t try to be too clever or complicated with layout. Just remember to leave space between paragraphs and have wide margins so the document is easy for the reader to scan. Length? Anything from 1 to 3 pages is fine so long as you're not waffling.
Get some help
Finally, get two of your friends to proofread your CV. Get them to look both for actual mistakes and for things that don’t make sense. It’s amazing how blind we can be to our own errors and omissions.