Education and employment blog: CV tips

Our new education and employment blogger, Gloria Williamson, kicks off with some simple advice on getting a CV in check as youth unemployment in Brixton rises

It takes the average employer no more than 15 seconds, to look at a CV and determine whether they would like to interview that candidate. It is apparent that the current economic climate has impacted the increase in unemployment within Brixton, as the latest unemployment figure in Lambeth has reached 11,680 and 2,990 are from the Brixton community.  The majority of those unemployed in Brixton fall in two brackets the 16-24 year olds with a make up 68% and 45-64 with 70%. This shows that it’s now more important than ever to make sure that your CV is able to distinguish you in the right way from the thousands of job seekers.  As a careers advisor who regularly reads CVs from across south London including Brixton, a major problem that I have noticed in both CVs and job application forms is spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. A simple spelling error immediately gives the employer the impression that you have not taken the time and effort to go over your CV and therefore will have a similar attitude in your work ethic. Another problem is not doing thorough research on what the job involves and what skills and qualities the employer is looking for in an individual. You have to show in your CV or application that you have the applicable and transferable skills and qualities that the employer is looking for. Below are a few tips. Happy job hunting!

1) Tailor your CV and personal profile for the job you are applying for.

2) Have a clear and logical CV so it is easy for the employer to read.

3) Choose an easy to read font, e.g. Arial size11. Be consistent with font and sizes

4) Your CV is your opportunity to shine so be sure to include achievements that are work related and show your transferable skills.

5) Proof read your CV and check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

6) Lastly be honest in your CV because employers will do back ground checks and might ask you to expand on certain aspects of your CV at interview.

Check out my blog, Shine and Arise, and the following websites for more tips and advice:

























  1. This is all good advice, but as an employer who frequently sifts CVs, I would add more:

    1. Make sure you address the right person. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had emails addressed to “Dear Sir/Madam” when my name is clearly listed as the person to whom applications should be addressed. These go straight (and I mean straight) into the bin.

    2. Be positive about my company and why you want to work for us. Enthusiasm is infectious. But don’t explain to me that this would make a perfect springboard for your next career move – that’s just crass.

    3. Why should I choose you? What do you offer to me (see above re. enthusiasm, by the way).

    4. Finally, be honest with yourself. For example, if you believe in the power of the patriarchy, and think women should be at home in the kitchen, do you really think you’d be happy working for me? (and yes, this really was on a CV I read).

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