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    Use your CV to market yourself effectively

    The curriculum vitae is not only a summary of your working career, academic achievements and key personal facts, but also a SALES DOCUMENT.

    It allows a prospective employer to assess your suitability for a particular role and also enables him to decide whether or not they wish to invite you for an interview.

    Given the importance of making a favourable first impression the following should be observed:

    Ensure information provided is brief and to the point – avoid unnecessary detail.

    Detail academic achievements in reverse chronological order including dates and grades of pass where appropriate.

    Use black ink – CVs are often photocopied.

    Use good quality paper and bind or enclose the CV in a plastic screen so that it does not become damaged in transit.

    Use a high quality typeset – possibly invest in professional help.

    Ensure all information is included, of particular importance is a contact telephone number.

    Your CV should not only detail experience and academic status, but also include achievements in work.

    Employment history should be set out in reverse chronological order. Areas of specific responsibility outside normal sphere and also any direct effect made upon company performance during your employment.

    Items of interest and pastimes make interesting reading but in some cases may be potentially dangerous and could prohibit an invitation to attend interview e.g. political beliefs, minority interests etc.

    Take time over the layout, bringing together information and plan exactly what is to be included. Possibly draft a copy and come back to it later.

    Ask friends for their opinion – remember, first impressions are very important.

    Finally, take time to ensure there are no grammatical or spelling errors contained in the CV.

    Critically appraise the final product and don’t be afraid to start again if you are not totally satisfied.

    Remember this document makes a first impression and it is important to ensure that the impression is positive.

    Send a covering letter accompanying the CV.

    The letter may be adapted to suit the role applied for and it also personalises your application, highlighting your strengths in connection to the role.

    Remember to include the reference number quoted in the advert and to state exactly which publication it appeared in and the exact date. The company may be advertising several posts that day and your application could go missing or to the wrong department. If asked for salary details should be included.

    Ensure that it is properly addressed and the job title/description of recipient is clearly and accurately marked.

    Send the CV by first class post and in a generous sized envelope – this gives a much better first impression than folded tightly into a small package.