CV Help and Templates
Essentially a selling tool, your CV needs to be of a high quality to impress potential Employers.
Use the info below to create a high quality CV / Resume, inludes info on layout, presentation and a scanner friendly CV. Also check out our interview techniques and download our CV templates which you can fill out with your own information.
The layout of the CV can vary and is up to you, but there is certain information that must be included.
Your CV is essentially a selling tool, it outlines your skills and experience to potential Employers.
Find out how to make your CV scanner friendly, don't get lost in a database.
Useful advice and tips on how to write the perfect cover letter and create that first impression.
Handy advice and tips to help you prepare and impress when attending your next interview.
Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.
Created by NXGEN Design
The layout of the CV can vary, but there is certain information that should be included. If possible, keep the CV to no more than four pages and do not include images/photos. The details below make up the standard layout for a CV (the majority of CVs are scanned into a database, which is programmed to select keywords from the body of the CV. It makes sense therefore, to include keywords that you want to be highlighted when the database is searching through your CV).
Format1. Name and Address
Your CV (Curriculum Vitae) or Resume is essentially a selling tool. It outlines your skills and experience so that a prospective employer can see at a glance how you might perform in a given role. It is often the first impression a prospective employer will have of you, so you need to present yourself in a way that makes the reader want to read everything you have put down.
Most managers are very busy and they will take only a few seconds to decide if they want to know more about you. Confused layout or untidy presentation will almost certainly send your CV to the reject pile. Many CVs include content that is long, too wordy, or simply lacking in essential information. Many suffer from an unprofessional appearance. Below are some helpful hints in preparing a CV:
Most companies now, (including ourselves) scan CVs into their databases. The most difficult CV for the computer to read is a poor quality copy that has an unusual format, such as newsletter layout, table format, text boxes, adjusted spacing, large and unusual font sizes, italics, graphics or lines, type that is too faint or paper that is too dark.
Use enough keywords to define your skills, experience, education, professional affiliations etc, such as BA, BSc, MSc marketing, French, Chartered Surveyor, gold, gemstones, underground, open-pit, TBM machines, DMS Plants, NATM, etc. Make sure you describe your experience with concise words rather than vague descriptions, as the computer system will extract the words and information from your sentences. Increase your list of keywords by including industry specifics, for example, list the names of the software you use, the machinery or plant you have worked with.
A good covering letter/email will make your CV stand out from the numerous other CVs that pass across an employer's desk. Some helpful tips:
There are no hard and fast rules for achieving interview success, but it helps to follow some basic guidelines if you want to give yourself the best chance of being offered the job.
The most important foundation for any interview is preparation. If you want to stand out for your knowledge and from the other candidates, make sure you understand the role.
Your CV will usually be the first point of contact and this will form the basis of the interview. It is therefore essential that you can talk about your skills and experiences with confidence and understanding. Employers will go through your CV and will want to know about each job which has been included, so ensure you back up every statement with evidence.
Take a copy of your CV to the interview. Dress smartly. Even if the company adopts casual dress it is good practice to turn up to the interview smartly dressed. During the interview maintain eye contact when the interviewer is speaking to you.
Plan your Journey
Check where the interview is to be held and plan your journey. Allow longer than you think you need in order to get there. If, for any reason, you are delayed by traffic for example and cannot avoid being late, then phone the company in advance to let them know and explain your reasons when you arrive.
Find out about the Company
Once your interview has been confirmed, find out everything you can about the company you are visiting. Researching a company is not just about how many offices they have and what products or services they sell; it is about understanding what their challenges and opportunities are, where there business is going and how the role fits into this plan.
Look in trade magazines and make sure you are familiar with the company website. Whether you have visited the website and what you thought of it are common questions for interviewers to ask. Find out the name of the person who will be interviewing you and how they fit into the company.
Know the role
Before every interview, you should receive a job specification that will help you to prepare for the meeting. If you are applying for a job through a recruitment agency, a consultant should brief you prior to the interview. This information will allow you to structure your responses for maximum impact, as you can use the job specification to relate your experience to the role. Researching the company is a good way to impress, but if you really want to stand out then you need to find out about their wider environment. Display an in-depth understanding of their industry and competitors to show that you’re reading around the subject and understand the environment you are looking to work in. Trade publications also offer a wealth of industry specific information and will highlight the issues that affect, or have the potential to affect, the company you are looking to work for.
Employers will use the interview to explore whether your experience and expertise can meet their unique challenges. They will expect you to show an understanding of how you can help them to reach future goals so be sure to give this some thought. Think about why you want the job, how you would approach it, and how you wouild make a difference; drawing upon previous achievements to back up each statement.
Some questions you may be asked
Don't rush into an answer
Interviewers are not there to trip you up; a good interviewer will want to put you at your ease and make sure they get the best from you. When you are asked a question, don’t be tempted to rush into an answer, think about what you’d like to say and what you think they want to hear. Talk positively about results to show that you are determined to succeed, but remain factual, sincere and clear in all of the points that you‘re making. No matter how you feel about your current or previous employers, don’t be tempted to display negativity as it could reflect badly on you.
Avoid getting into too specific a conversation about salary. Salary is typically discussed when the job is actually offered, so if possible try and avoid bringing this up in the interview. However, if this question is asked by the interviewer, just give a real but wide salary range that you are happy to negotiate and emphasise that you feel the salary will not be an issue if you decide to work together. You could also give examples of previous pay and benefits by saying in my last role my salary was such and such an amount and the benefits / bonuses included meant my pay reached an amount of...
This helps the interviewer see the scale to which they can negotiate on too.
If you want the job then tell them you are interested and let them know your availability. Ask what the next step is, i.e. will the decision be made on the one interview, or will there be subsequent interviews?
Thank the interviewer for seeing you.
If you don’t get the job, don’t get too downhearted. It’s unlikely that you’ll be offered every job you ever interview for, no matter how many skills you bring to the table. If you do get turned down, treat it as an opportunity to improve your future performance and ask for feedback. Take on board any comments when applying for your next job.