Why you NEED to have a CV

Today is the first day of Shetland College UHI's Employability Week 2018! Our guidance coordinator Klaudia Grubska has organised lunchtime sessions to help students with CVs, personal statements, interview skills and coping with rejection. Developing the Young Workforce Shetland's Careers Event also falls on Wednesday 21st November too, so this is a great week to gather information to help with future careers. To mark the first day of Employability Week, Klaudia lets us know why we NEED to have a CV.

see full size image

If you’re looking to land a new job, you need a quality CV that will impress employers. From formatting and style to content and language, it’s crucial that every element of your CV is flawless. So we’ve rounded up the best CV writing tips to help you land plenty of job interviews in 2018 and beyond.

1. What is a CV? 

A CV is meant to be a summary of you…what have you been up to, where have you worked, what have you achieved, what skills and attributes do you have. It’s meant to give the employer a succinct reason as to why they should hire you. A good CV shouldn’t be longer than 1 page, it can be both sided but ideally, it shouldn’t be any longer than that. And the trick is, the way you structure your CV is also very important. You should also tailor your CV to every job you apply for.


2. Do your Research

 When writing a CV, you probably already have a few jobs in mind…you probably know the roles you’d most likely like to do and the roles you DEFINITELY don’t want to do so it’s important that you take the time to research what kinds of skills and attributes the employers are looking for. Look into similar jobs and what their ‘Person Specification’ says and make a list of the most important requirements. Once you have this, you know exactly what skills, knowledge and experience of your own to draw upon.


3. Structuring you CV

 Your CV should be appealing to the eye – it should be easy to read and the sections should follow on from one another smoothly. It can be hard to start one and to think of a good structure so here’s a good website that will help you structure your CV.


4. Email Address

Hopefully now that you’re at college you’ve updated your email address from the one you set up when you were 12. It’s really easy to do and it won’t make your old email disappear, you can just set it up so it forwards your old email to your new email address! It’s very unappealing to write a brilliant CV and then leave your email address as “Driftking13@email” or “fiestydarling@email” (these have been adapted but are based off of real email addresses by the way!)


5. Include a Personal Statement

Use a personal statement to explain how your experience relates to their job and to sell yourself in general.


6. Have a Cover Letter

 A cover letter allows you to write about your interest in the job you’re applying for and what makes you the best candidate. Find some useful information about cover letters here.


7. Don’t Leave Gaps

Don’t leave any gaps in your employment or study history – even if you have been unemployed, you can put a positive spin on it! It’s better than leaving it blank.


8. Keep it Current

You should always keep your CV up to date, it doesn’t take long and it could save you time when applying for a job.


9. Spelling and Grammatical Errors

You can get a lot of information from a CV or an application about a person based on your writing style, grammatical mistakes, structuring, spelling errors, the list could go on. So make sure that you proof read your CV and check for any mistakes. Have someone else read it for you too, that way they can tell you their first impression! Having a professional read over it is a smart thing to do, they’ll know what they’re looking for and whether they would hire you based on your CV!


10. Tell the Truth

Never lie on your CV or application because employers DO check and if you’re found out to be a liar, imagine what that does for your professional journey.