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Writing a killer CV

A CV is brief summary of your skill’s, experiences and professional interests. It is designed to secure you an interview and that is all, the interview is where you go through the detail. Certain roles attract numerous applications, often from people equally matched to yourself. Consider a vacancy for a new graduate veterinary surgeon vacancy in a large, independent veterinary hospital. How will your CV be selected out of the other 100 CV’s? When multiple CV’s are received, employers spend less that ten seconds reading CV’s before regretting or deciding to interview.

Follow these simple 10 steps to enhance your chances of success.

1. Simple, clear font that suggests professionalism, Calibri or Arial for instance.

2. Profile, this is a two to three sentence area of text which the reader will see first so it should sit at the top. Make it punchy, accurate and written to encourage the reader to continue beyond ten seconds.

3. Contact details, include them all, if university emails expire after a period of time, leave them out, your CV may be on file for a long time.

4. Education details, University and A-Levels would generally suffice for vets and degree nurses.

5. Employment details in date order, newest first. Include all employment. If you have a gap in your dates, explain the gaps, travelling, family break, sabbatical. Gaps provoke queries from the reader, if there are many applications you may not be given the opportunity to answer these.

6. Photos are generally considered unprofessional so leave them out. Some employers reject any candidates that provide a photo.

7. Less is more. Limit your CV to two pages, three at the most. Unless you are applying for a job with very specific experience or skill requirements longer CV’s can seem like a long task for a busy manager to read.

8. Bullet point your skills and experiences. This will keep the content to key facts and ensure they are easy for the reader to find. Make the bullets factual, for instance “regularly perform TPLO surgery”, “experience in developing junior team members.”

9. Format for your CV so that it can be easily amended as your career develops, avoid invisible tables. Keeping the format simple will allow for easy editing in the future.

10. Adapt your CV to the job you are applying for. If the business you are applying for have an interest in exotics, ensure you include your experience, no matter how small.

Interview Preparation

Following these simple steps will help you write a CV that will attract the attention it needs. If you would like to speak to one of the bright Leaf Recruitment team about your CV and take advantage of our free CV review, call us on 01422 433 900.

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