A Sussex based blogger sharing a candid tale of 20-something humanness

Monday, 19 September 2011

Careers Advice & Guidance- How to be CV Savvy!

With the downward turn of the economy, fewer job vacancies, and that oh-so-pressing desire to be able to prance around a marble floor kitchen and enlist the help of a hunk to build a shelving system that stores 20487 pairs of shoes (I may have to suppress my ambitions just a little), it's safe to say that we all want to be the girl that got the job. Whether it's a nurse, a farmer, a journalist, a rally driver, a Topshop manager, an actress, a carpenter, a waitress, a check-out girl, an air hostess, an administrator, or just George Clooney's wife (in which case, this article might not be much use to you...), we all want to be something, and it's inevitable that throughout various stages of our lives, we will all apply for jobs. Some will be jobs that just feed our Paul's Boutique addiction and get us by, and others will be based in the field that we're so keen to get into.

Either way, it's likely, at some point, that we'll need to present a CV to our manager-to-be. And while, in some sectors, they seem to be a dying trend with the introduction of bulkier (by bulkier I mean 8397984784141941 page) application forms, it's always handy to have a CV on standby, as you never know when you might need to provide one.

Below, you can find 10 glorious tips on how to be CV savvy. And while, being twenty, I'm no expert, please rest assured that I have searched mountains and forests to bring these to you! (By this I mean that I have searched Google, and asked a few people in-the-know...)

1) Each CV you should submit must, must, must be tailored to the individual job that you're applying for. Believe me, making five minutes worth of tweaks that relate to the job description is much more beneficial than applying for a receptionist job with a CV that mentions your ability to sing the alphabet backwards, and says nothing about your fantastic customer service skills.

2) Only list the skills that are a) relevant, and b) make you an appealing candidate. Whilst I firmly believe that singing the alphabet backwards (especially after a bottle of Pinot!) is an achievement, it quite possibly bares no relevance to any job that has existed, ever. 

3) Do not, by any means, put a photo of yourself on your CV, unless the field you're applying for makes this a necessity. That cute smile might have worked with the reasonably attractive bartender you met on Saturday night, but employers want to know what you're going to bring to their company. And if it's just a pretty smile and a killer waist, you're going be overlooked. 

4) Remember that the way a CV looks is important. Lay it out in a way that is clear, concise, and structured, using headings and bullet points where necessary. Good CV templates are easy to find- let Google be your CV God! And (pretty please) use a font that says 'I'm over 12'. If I was an employer, I'd bin any CV that was written in Comic Sans. So-not-appropriate! 

5) Showcase your skills! A CV is your first point of contact with your potential employer. While you may have rambled to your best friend fifteen times about your amazing achievement last summer, your employer will be none-the-wiser if it's not on the paper in front of them. Get your trumpet out, and blow it!

6) Equally, don't waffle on for too long. Yes, you're amazing, intelligent, and without a doubt the best girl for the job, but tell them that in no more than 2 A4 sides!

7) Write in a professional, clear, coherent and appropriate manner. writin lyk dis probz isnt da best way 2  secure a job bbz. Your experience might be brilliant, so don't let shabby spelling mistakes or missing commas distract away from that. Enlist some help if you're stuck, and always get someone (/something electronic) to proofread it before it's released into the big, wide world.

8) When writing about work experience or education, start with the most recent, and work backwards. An employer is much more interested in your recent pursuits than your one week stint at 'Burger King' when you were sixteen. Especially if you got sacked for stealing a gherkin. Mmm!

9) Explain any gaps/breaks in your career experience. If you went backpacking round Europe for a year, write this down. Life experience can prove just as valuable during the application process, and it stops an employer assuming that you've taken a year out to eat pizza, drink wine and watch 'Don't tell the bride' back to back. (If only..!)

10) Finally, and most importantly, do not tell any porkies, or exaggerate the truth. While it might seem like a good idea at the time, and could potentially blag you the job, your new employer will find out. And it will be on the same day that Mr hot-new-employee-with-the-killer-abs asks you out for dinner, by the way. It's a lose-lose situation!

I hope these tips have been some help to you! Unfortunately, due to a tonsil the size of a planet and a headache so banging I feel like I've been dragged to Ibiza on an all-night-bender, I'm stuck in bed today. Therefore, if you have any further questions on CVs, or want me to take a look at yours, don't hesitate to email me! I'll be grateful for the distraction! :)

Love to you all xXx



  1. Ahhh so helpful, am literally trying to write a cover letter right now and must remember to tailor my CV to fit it. I love your chav writing :) I hope you feel better, it is getting worse now with a tonsil thrown in! xxxx

  2. Yes, yes! Good luck with it! Haha thx bbz, was jst tryin 2 elabor8 on ma poynt.

    I know! It gradually does seem to be getting work, I've started on the penicillin though, so fingers crossed I'll be fit as a fiddle in no time! xXx

  3. Love this :) Your a really good writer, I enjoy reading your style of writing if you know what I mean!

    CV writing is the worst, I'm re-writing mine at the moment, may e-mail it to you once I'm done for a proof read :) I always find it difficult to proof read my own writing!



  4. Ah thank you Vicki! :) Yes, please go ahead! I'm a super geek and have worked as a proof reader before, so I'm always happy to have a look! xXx

  5. You're so funny. I need your blog in my life. I'm about to get a career soon. Just have to decide what I kind of program I want to do. Feel better.

  6. Aw bless you, thank you! Best of luck with your decisions Miss! :) xXx

  7. It is really a good post and really good CV tips. good one www.emonthloans.co.uk for more such things.


Thanks so much for reading. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Don't forget to leave a link to some of your own writing; I'm always on the look out for more reading material.

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