Many candidates who register with us benefit from our market knowledge, and as part of this our experience and expertise around CV layout, wording and presentation. There are many templates available online, which is always useful, however, we strongly believe that CVs are individual to the person they represent, so like people, no two CVs are ever the same. We never format, or rewrite CVs, we offer advice and knowledge to take away with you, so you can make your CV the best it can be to represent you and your experience and skills.
With this in mind, we have put together a guide to assist you, whatever stage you are at in your career, so both first jobbers and experienced PA’s with a longer career history should benefit from this checklist.
- CVs should ideally not be longer than 2 pages, any points drifting on to a third page (typically ‘Interests’) get lost.
- Make sure Name and Address are clear at the top, the address isn’t compulsory, but employers are often interested in potential journey to and from work
- An introductory paragraph can be a great personal touch and allow you to highlight any unique career experience or highlights or skills. Avoid this being too long – a short paragraph is enough.
- Job titles are clearly displayed and not too long winded. If you have had various roles within one company, separate them, but keep the full length of time at the company as one set of dates.
- Job descriptions should be in easy to read in bullet point form, with any big achievements or projects completed included. These should be short, constructive sentences as oppose to one word bullets, and do group relevant duties together if you can eg. Organising diary may also include booking in meetings, conferences and travel arrangements.
- Try to avoid too much repetition. For example, if you have had several PA jobs in your career, aim to avoid listing the same duties for each PA role, it needs to hold attention and interest, make you stand out, not bore the reader.
Obvious but important:
- Check all the dates are correct from start to finish and that it is chronologically ordered with the most recent experience first.
- Don’t miss dates off, it only confuses – no one can guess how long you worked somewhere.
- If you have done short contracts or been made redundant it would benefit to outline this on the CV
- Check typos and grammar, all too often there are lurking errors. This includes company names and job titles too
- Use a font that is clear, legible and consistent throughout your CV
- Make sure sections are clearly separated: Employment, Education, Skills, Other Achievements etc
We are very happy to help you and advise you with your CV, sometimes it take a couple of reworks to get it just right. You may also need some specific advice around tailoring your CV for a specific role. In some cases, you may need a couple of versions of your CV if your experience has been broad and diverse. Remember that your CV is a fluid document and grows with you, so it will need revising and adjusting with you and your experience/life.