Whether you’re beginning your career, looking for a promotion, or thinking of a change in career, a job application can be a daunting process.
In most cases your CV is the first impression you make to a recruiter or hiring manager. This is where we learn more about you than just your name and email address.
There are plenty of different templates and opinions on the perfect CV so it can start to cause doubt. Our recruiters at Vodafone review tonnes of CVs each year (no robots here) so to help you feel prepared when applying for a role with us we would like to share some of our helpful hints and tips with you.
Step 1: Plan
Firstly, check what you need to make an application. Some positions may only require a CV, however others may also request a cover letter, or ask you to complete an application form that includes specific questions instead. You don’t want to spend your time crafting a CV or cover letter for it to not be used in your application.
Before starting your CV, think about your career goals or what you want to achieve with your application and write some brief notes about your experience or achievements you’d like to include, to then build upon them later. Studying the job advert could be helpful to ensure that you include information that is a requirement of the role and evidences why you would be a suitable candidate. CVs for senior management positions are different to those for graduate programmes, or sales positions, so take some time to think about the most important elements to include.
Step 2: Write
A good structure and layout is fundamental. Around two pages is suitable for a CV, however don’t worry if your CV is longer. How you make the best use of that space is the important part. There are three crucial elements below you should look to include.
All essential information should be at the very top of your CV and includes your name, contact details and location. You can also provide links to portfolios and online profiles, but make sure the content is relevant. You don’t need to include any other personal details like your age, gender or marital status. Although we are interested in the person behind the CV, as recruiters we pride ourselves on a fair and objective process. This means we are looking for the best person for the job no matter what your personal attributes so don’t use valuable space including them.
'Personal Summary' can also be included, but don’t fall into the trap of using a generic summary filled with buzzwords. If you are including a summary, we recommend using factual information that can be evidenced, outlining your career aspirations or highlighting your previous achievements.
When reading CVs, recruiters spend the most time reviewing your previous experience and therefore this should take centre stage on your CV. We advise that this is positioned near the top of your CV and is clearly highlighted so a recruiter can pinpoint it quickly. In most cases, it is best practice to list your experience in chronological order (with your most recent first), although if changing careers you may want to list your most relevant experience instead. Clearly indicate your role title, company name, length of service and then detail the key aspects of your role, as well as any great achievements. Where possible break up large volumes of text with bullet points so the information is clear to the reader. You can also include any specific skills or qualifications you have gained that would be relevant to the role you are applying for.