The CV is a tool with a very specific purpose: to win an interview. Think of the CV as your advertisement.
A great CV does not just tell the employer what you have done but makes the same assertion that all good advertisements do: If you buy this product, you will get these specific, direct benefits. It presents you in the best light. It convinces the employer that you have what it takes to be successful in this new position or career, that you are the one that they have to meet.
Put yourself in the employer’s shoes
Write down a description of the person the employer is looking for and use this as a blue-print for your CV. Draw parallels between the skills required and those you possess. Write a brief, honest and factual summary about yourself and why you would be the best candidate for the role. The beginning of your CV should act as a hook for the reader and will impact their perception of you. By making a strong statement at the beginning you will more than likely garner their interest in you.
Describe key responsibilities and highlight your achievements
Although the key responsibilities will highlight the technical skills required for a particular role, underlining your key achievements will provide the opportunity to show how you can add value. Distinguish yourself from other candidates and highlight what you will bring to the table.
Recent and relevant training
Include your recent and relevant training. It will highlight your commitment to professional development and could make the difference between you and other candidates with a similar background.
Providing the details of individuals willing to speak on your behalf sends out an impactful message. If you are concerned about potential employers contacting referees before the appropriate time, state that you do not want them to be approached until you have given permission.
Make yourself easy to contact
Have all your contact details easily available. Make sure to include your name, address, phone (with an alternative number, if available) and e-mail.
Pay attention to the format, look and feel
Demonstrate that you understand the principles of presentation and ensure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes. Use a universal font such as Arial or Times New Roman.