View some of the various articles I have written in my Top-Tips which are mostly a comment on some of the less obvious issues that relate to work, career change and/or job searching. Less obvious - yes, but very important nonetheless.
The links to all these are on the left side of the page, click » and view as you wish. The article can also be viewed on Irishjobs.ie
Without question and we all know that it is most important to provide good clear and concise information on your C.V. and to produce a really good one, takes lots of time and concentration. One element that a lot of people forge about or pay no attention to is “Eye Appeal” or making it look as good as it reads. While your C.V. might have very good content, this can often be spoiled by poor formatting, margins, spacing etc. And it’s so simple to fix, just given a little thought.
People will spend hours working on their information, formulating it, changing, editing etc, and the result is often – Yes – good information but all laid out all the same. One line after the other, big blocks of text, line after line, no bullet points, headings that all look the same and the result is that the whole thing is lacklustre and boring in appearance.
It’s when considering the broad lay-out of your C.V. that you need to think about how it looks to the viewer or reader. If one page is crushed with information and the next very spaced, it just won’t look right or worse still part of your Career History in a company with one half on one page and the other half on the next. It will all have an untidy look about it.
Break up your C.V. and give headings or topics different layout. Put some in bold text and some not in bold. Some indented, some double indented and some in bullet format.
The idea here is to make you C.V. look interesting even before anyone reads it. By strategically placing text in different formats you can draw the reader’s eye to the parts you want read first. It also makes it easier for the reader to go back to any topic they had read before and want to read again. You can locate what you want where you want it.
A typical example of this would be to start at the top with;
You’re name centered on the first line with your address and phone on the second line also centered.
If your entering Personal Details treat them the same way but at the bottom of the same page. That puts a ‘top’ and ‘tail’ or header and footer on the whole page and evens it off nicely.
Allow a space
Then if you are using a profile use a bold font, fully justified and indent it in a little more than the page margins. This makes the profile stand out and you can be sure it will get read. Allow a space
Your next topic might be a skill’s set, so make them very short, one liner’s if possible, use bullet points and put them in two even columns under the profile. Allow a space.
Then follow this with Education, Further Training and Languages if any. Each with its own heading and with bullet points.
If it’s all nicely spaced you will be surprised at how well it will look and it will be much easier to read. Each section is different. And in this format you can be sure that your profile and skills will be read first which is good as it gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead and sets their expectations as you would like them.
By doing this you will increase the changes that your C.V. will:
- be read as you want
- be remembered
- be interesting
- be very easy to read
To demonstrate the effectiveness of a well spaced document please read this section of text below and then again on the second example shown…..
The person who will be reviewing your C.V. will probably be looking at it on a PC screen. They may well have spent a few hours reviewing 50, 60 or maybe 80 C.V.’s, before they get to yours. They all came in the day after an advertisement appeared in the paper. Yours may be the last of a big response. The reader could be tired and may not give yours the attention it deserves. So yours must attract attention, have interesting and relevant information, be well laid out and easy to read. Give it space. Take care that you don’t crowd information into big paragraphs of text. That’s boring if nothing else. Break it up into bullet points. Make it east for the reader. Give most space to the more important topics which are usually your present or last job. Ensure absolutely no waffle; keep it sharp, to the point and factual.
The person who will be reviewing your C.V. will probably be looking at it on a PC screen. They may well have spent a few hours reviewing 50, 60 or maybe 80 C.V.’s, before they get to yours.
|So it must:|
— attract attention
— have interesting and relevant information
— be well laid out and easy to read
This is just a small example of how breaking up sentences and paragraphs can make the whole document so much more alive and easier to read.
Lastly and most importantly, remember that when your C.V. is completed you must view it carefully on the PC screen and then print it and view it again in hard copy. You will see they both have a very different look about them. Some items highlighted on the screen may often be far too BOLD or harsh in appearance when viewed in hard copy.
Bear in mind that different people will view your C.V. in different circumstances. The first viewing will probably be on a computer screen after you have e-mailed it to a Recruiter or an employer. This person, probably from HR will be screening many C.V.’s. So your must be good to get over that first hurdle. Before an interview your C.V. will probably be distributed by HR to the three or four other people who will be meeting you for interview. They will all have a hard copy of your C.V. in front of them and it may be their first viewing of your application. So be sure it looks as good in hard copy as it does on the screen.
You have to cover all eventualities when considering who, where and when people will view your C.V.
That old but frequently quoted saying, ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’ was never more true.
The very best of luck.