CV Guidance


Well-Known Member
My partner is about to start applying for some new jobs now that her maternity has come to an end and I'm going to help her update her CV. Where's the best place to find some good examples of CV layout and content etc.. ? I can find all sorts on Google but no idea whats good/ bad etc..

Any ideas?
Surely on here? I'm sure you could do a search and find examples of a few CV's to get ideas. Unless you mean standard CV templates? In which case you may find some pre-installed on MS Word.
Do you know anyone who works in HR? They will be the best at telling you what the current trends are and what recruiters are looking for. You'd be surprised how quickly fashions and requirements change with CVs.
If she works in a "lets make s**t pretty" industry, like design, then make that mo-fo damn pretty and let her personality shine through in the pictures and words. If she's a proper professional, its all about the formal, suit wearing stuff like how many different sizes of times she can use.

A couple of tips from my own experience:

• Keep to one page if possible (apparently multi page = ego)

• It needs to be designed to fit a portrait A4 (I was once told at interview that they'd spent 2 hours trying to print my landscape CV and even then they'd only got it landscape A5)

• DON'T put her picture on her CV. It was rated as one of the worst things a candidate can do, on one of these job site things.

• DON"T use a coloured background! (It really irritates bean counters when they have to print toner intensive CVs)

Of all my CV's incarnations over the years, my personal fave was a 4 page document that was really well designed and works perfectly both on screen and in print... Unfortunately, employers didnt share my vision and 4 landscape pages of charcoal grey, white and magenta were a happy medium for most office printers.
As an employer I guess this would be my order of priority list for what I want to see on a CV:

- Skills
- Experience
- Qualifications
- Interests (yes this is actually important to me!)
- Address etc.

For what it's worth I don't pay too much attention to the 'I can work in a team or as an individual, am self motivated ...etc.' statement.

I'm happy enough with a two page pdf cv - doesn't really make too much difference to me - not sure what the obsession with one page CV's is about.
CV Writing Tips

Hi Arrivals,

First of all, if you're going to start the CV from scratch or if it requires a lot of work you can best download a CV template to use it as a foundation of it. These templates are available all over the web for free and can be easily personalised, check out these CV templates (there are also a couple of design and creative CVs in there, if that's indeed also your partners field). They can be quite useful since the standard sections are present, all that's required is filling it in.

Secondly, the following are some of the guidelines that you can follow and that is generally recommended:

  • Try to have it on 1 or 2 A4 sheets. Anything beyond that will not be considered.
  • Tailor the CV to the particular job market or position
  • Double and triple proofread it for spelling and grammar mistakes (tip: let someone else also review it)
  • Write in the paste tense ("reviewed" instead of "review", "organised" instead of "organise", etc) This will give the impression that you have actually done and something instead of being assigned a duty.
  • Be careful not to include certain unnecessary things (e.g. photo or logos, DoB, salary expectation, marital-status, etc.)
  • Use the name of your partner as the title (as opposed to "CV" or "Curriculum Vitae")
  • Use short sentences and bullet points
  • Lay out the information properly so there is enough breathing space for the eyes (referred to as white space by designers ;) )
  • Only include hobbies and interests that add further value and weight to the CV
These were just some of the important tips (and by no means all), good luck and I hope that this will help you!
On a content point of view definitely tailor the CV to the job she is applying for. There are too many CVs out there that look like a cut and paste job.

You have to look at it from the companies point of view, what in her skills are going to be an enhancement to their company? If you do have these skills, how can you prove how you have used them in the past? Even if it's only a quick sentence to explain how skill A solved companies problem B. Whether it to save money, time etc, then explain this. Unless you tell them the benefits of your skills they won't know.

I would stay away from copying from other CVs and make write something that stands out from the cookie-cutter applications they get.

Good luck with everything!
Oh, and do your homework by checking out their website to get the gist of the type of things they value, and tailor her skills and knowledge to that.