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Your CV is your personal selling tool

Whether a potential employer calls you into an interview or not can all depend on the quality and presentation of your CV. In today's competitive marketplace the need to sell yourself effectively is increasingly important.  In a normal selection process you have two crucial opportunities to create the right impression to your prospective employers, your CV and your interview. Your CV is the first thing a potential employer judges you on.  It is your own personal selling tool.  Your CV gives about two minutes to create the right impression and if it is right, you will gain an interview.

How do you create your CV?
Assemble all the facts and list the information you need to include in your CV.  Your CV won't be perfect on the first attempt. When you have decided what you want to include you will then be able to work on the layout of it.

What do you include?
Firstly, you should always start with your name, nationality, all contact details i.e. email, mobile, home and work numbers and of course your postal address.

Education comes next. This should include your secondary school and higher education ensuring that you include dates, the name of your school, the number of O Levels/GCSEs or A Levels (or the equivalent if from overseas) including subjects and grades.  You must also list degree courses, university/college and then any further courses that you might have done.

Work history should be presented in reverse chronological order - i.e. your most recent position listed first. Give details of the companies you have worked for with the titles of the positions you held.  Duties should be listed in bullet points as this makes for easy reading.

Specify the period you were working for each company i.e. the year and month, ensuring that you include the content of the position.

It will make your life easier if you think of your job in terms of the tasks you performed, the level of responsibility and any achievements. The detail you put in should always be factual and should always be in the past tense.  You must always include any systems experience you have gained, including spreadsheets, word processing etc.

If you have taken a year out or indeed a few months to go travelling put it down.  A gap on a CV only raises eyebrows! Be honest!

And finally鈥hen your CV is finished, it should ideally  be no more than two pages long, three at a push.  Keep the detail factual and don't waffle.

Before you send your CV to OC, make sure a friend or relative has read it for you. They will then be able to offer constructive advice if they feel the need to.

If you would like further advice on your CV, please call or email your local office and a OC Consultant will be able to help you.