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  10 Top CV Tips

The following are 10 Top Tips brought to you by Vanguard International for help when you are writing your CV.

Keep it Simple
A CV, your first and possibly only chance of securing an interview. It is therefore vitally important that it works for you and not against you. Use it to draw attention to your strengths, achievements and technical know-how.

Lead with Achievements
Make frequent use of active verbs, such as, achieved, set up, managed, responsible for, led. Don't use bullet points to describe jobs or achievements, prose is easier to read and you can be more descriptive.

Work Reverse Chronologically
Start with your current employment and work back, remembering to include the name of your employer, start and end dates, your job title and a brief description, plus your accomplishments. If you are looking for your first job, list any relevant work experience first, paid or unpaid

Be Honest
Lying on your CV is a waste of your time as well as for your prospective employer. Adding six months to your time in a job can seem like a good idea, but if you are caught out you will have lost the job for sure. But don't sell yourself short. If you think the three summers you spent working for a charity in France show your knowledge of the country and its culture you should say so.

IT Skills
You must list all software packages, hardware platforms, operating systems, programming languages, databases, utilities etc, that you are currently familiar with. Don't list packages that you haven't used for years, because if you are asked about them at interview you will look foolish.

Give equal attention to achievements while at University - but not if you have been in the job market for more than two years. Captain of the debating team, student union rep, set designer for the university play all show you to be enthusiastic, a self-starter and full of initiative.

Don't Overcrowd Your CV
Don't feel you need to keep your CV to one page. If it's three pages then fine, as long as the content and layout is appropriate. If your potential employer has to work hard to read your CV, they will quickly lose interest.

No employer will want to hire someone who can't be bothered to check their own work and typos and grammatical errors mean your CV goes straight in the bin. Don't rely on the spell check to pick up any mistakes, read it over thoroughly.

Two Pairs of Eyes
Ask someone else to proof read your CV for you as a fresh eye is useful to spot mistakes or offer suggestions. Once you've read your CV three or four times, it's difficult to stand back and look at it objectively. Never try and finish your CV in one sitting, always go back to it after a couple of days.

Check with referees before you use their names. There's nothing worse than using someone who has either moved on or holds a grudge against you. The best people to use for references are your current employer or a professor or teacher at your college/university.

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