Your CV: Writing it, checking it and making sure it's read
Write your CV at the beginning of the redundancy process before you do anything else. This is really important as it will help you sell your skills to your current or future employer. It may have been a long time since you last applied for jobs so we have compiled some handy tips to help you write a really good CV.
Ideally you want your CV to be between 1 and 2 pages long, no more than 2 pages and no less than 1 page. You should include the following:
- Profile: A very brief paragraph (2-3 lines max) summarising your skills and qualities, tailored to each job that you apply for
- Key Skills: A couple of bullet points, explaining your main skills and/or key areas of expertise you are selling to employers. Recruiters may use search engines and other specialist software to look for candidates with your specific skills. Be prepared to answer questions about these at interview
- Employment details: It is not enough to simply list every job you have ever had, stick to recent (last 10 years) and relevant. Include the company name, dates, job title and outline of duties. Account for any gaps in your CV in a positive way, such as studying or bringing up your children. You do not need to give your reason for leaving
- Education and Training: Provide a brief list of your education (secondary, higher and further), qualifications and training, including dates attended and the name of the institution listed in reverse chronological order. If you failed a qualification or exam then it is best to leave it out. Also, you do not need to list your GCSEs (or O Levels). Just say how many you have and where you studied and only include subjects that are relevant (e.g. Chemistry for work in a chemistry lab)
- Leisure and Interests: This can really help the employer better understand whether you will be a good fit for the company. List any hobbies you have, interests or volunteering you are engaged with that are relevant for the job you are applying for
- References: You do not need to include references at the end of the CV as these are normally not required until you have attended an interview or been made an offer. If they are specifically asked for, you may include them on a separate sheet of paper.
Checking your CV
- Ensure that the same formatting is used throughout. You can use bold or italics to emphasise something – do not underline! Use a readable font such as Arial or Times New Roman and also a decent size – but not huge!
- Proof Read your CV. In a competitive marketplace a single spelling mistake on your CV can be seriously costly. Therefore, it’s really important that you read your CV multiple times to make sure it reads nicely and there are no spelling mistakes or errors. Don’t rely on spell-check as it doesn’t always work.
- Read your CV again, and again, and again. Then give it to a friend and ask them to read through it. They may find mistakes which you have missed.
- Check your CV is the right length. If it is too short, think about other information you can include, building your skills and experience on your CV.
- Check the skills, experience, and profile on your CV against the requirements of the job role listed in the advert.
Emailing your CV to your Network
It’s important to send your CV to your network and make sure that people know you are in need of a job, because if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Draft a speculative letter summarising your skills and experience and stating what you are looking for. Send this to an appropriate list of agencies and employers along with your CV, adjusting it when necessary.
Call any business contacts, former colleagues, class mates, and explain the situation. Ask them if they know of any jobs that match your skill set. Follow up any leads you get straight away so you don’t miss out on potential opportunities.
TCHC has nearly a decade of success behind them in helping jobseekers and those affected by redundancy to get back into employment or to start a business.
Visit our redundancy web page for more information on our Skills Support for Redundancy programme.
Need help registering as unemployed, read on to our next part of our Redundancy Survival Guide.