Proof reading your cv

Proofreading your CV

It is of the utmost importance to check your CV for spelling and grammatical errors. Such mistakes - even minor oversights - could cost you the job.

A second pair of eyes could spot the errors you  may have missed, so ask someone reliable to double-check your CV for you.

Layout tips

- Keep your CV clean and uncluttered, with plenty of white space and wide margins.

- Use the same font throughout and make sure it is one of the more commonly-used, such as Times New Roman, Arial, Garamond or Courier, especially if the CV and covering letter are required to be sent by email.

- As regards font size, use 10-12 point for your body text, and a maximum of 16 point for headings.

- Do not reduce font size to fit more text into a page. Should you need more space, start a fresh page - or trim down your text.

- If requiring to submit your CV as a hard copy, print one side of the paper only;

- Number the pages if there are two or more;

- Your contact details should first appear on the top of the first page. It is advisable to include them as a header or footer on every page after the first page.

Structure

Personal Information

Insert your name, address, telephone and mobile numbers and e-mail address. If possible, also include the link to your Linkedln profile. Moreover, should you have a website or blog that could add value to your application, include it as well.

Details such as date of birth, marital status and nationality do not add anything to your CV and would be best left out.

Personal statement or profile

Your personal statement is your big chance to promote yourself. Think of it as a sales pitch and perhaps your one chance to make your prospective interviewer / employer feel that you are really worth their time.

Write a focused summary of what you have to offer, keeping it simple and snappy. Sum up your personal and professional attributes, taking into account the job specifications

Key achievements

This section should list about 4 points highlighting a specific task completed successfully, or an appointment or award received in recognition of a special effort you have made or of a special quality you possess.

Work experience

- Start with your current or most recent position and work backwards.

- Treat a promotion or a lateral move to a different role or department within the same company like a separate position.

- Provide a job title, commencement and end dates, company name.

- List relevant responsibilities, achievements, duties and skills, rather than giving a 'clinical' job description.

- If you've had many jobs or a long career, you might want to summarise under such headings as, "Previous employers" or "Earlier career".

- Explain any significant career gaps. Even if you're not working, you may have picked up some valuable skills from other pursuits.

Qualifications, education, training and development

These usually come near the end of the CV, but if some qualifications are essential for the job and make you more 'marketable', include them after your profile and key achievements.

If you have reached a tertiary level of education, it may be considered superfluous to begin listing schools and institutions earlier than secondary school level. Moreover, do not list your "O" and "A" Level grades, but it could be worthwhile to list the subjects covered at these levels that could be considered an asset for the job.

List professional and academic qualifications, degrees and executive programmes (adding the subject, awarding body and year).

Include skills such as languages, technology, or vocational training. Also add skills that are desirable in the workplace and that are either only acquired by experience or that come naturally to you, for example: organisational, problem-solving and leadership skills.

References and client endorsements

Refer to any references at the end of the CV with the phrase "References available on request".

Do not list the names and contact details of the respective persons or companies on your CV, but remember to have the reference letters or client endorsements at hand should you be called for an interview. In both cases, make sure you know who is willing to endorse you.

Include client endorsements and recommendations in the achievements section of your CV, for example: "Given a special award by X for contribution to X".

Other Information

Although not directly linked to the job in which you are interested, what you do in your free time could give an insight into your character.

If you have any interesting hobbies and/or are involved in not-for-profit pursuits, say briefly what you do. 

Be careful to avoid clichés such as "reading, music, going to cinema" but do include

pursuits that might require a degree of organisational or creative skills, or teamwork (for example: being a member of a committee related to a sport, of a charity or educational organisation, etc.)

Future editing

Keep your CV up-to-date, even when you're not looking for a job. This will save you precious time when you need to apply for a new job, not to mention helping you ensure that you do not forget important details, any interesting projects undertaken or new achievements.

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