Here are some Top Tips to remember when writing your CV.
- Create the X Factor - A CV is a document which is designed to 'sell' you to your prospective employer. It simply has to have the X Factor if you are to stand a chance of winning an interview.
- Stand out from the crowd - Recruiters and employers see hundreds of CVs and most of them look the same. As a result, many of them don't even get read. Be different and make yours stand out.
- Be accurate and honest - Employers are likely to check the dates of previous employment and to ask you about your achievements detailed on your CV so make sure you use the correct information.
- Be yourself - Let your personality shine through whilst being professional. After all, you want your employer to think of you as a person, not just a piece of paper.
- Show off / Be proud - Shout about the things you are really good at and all those fantastic things you have achieved in your previous work, at college and in your personal life. It's one of the only opportunities you will get to boast without being accused of showing off!
- Think about the WOW effect - Having read your CV you want your prospective employer to say 'Wow, I want to meet this person'.
So how do you create such an outstanding document?
Before you even start writing your CV, there is some essential preparation work to be done. You will need to gather together the following information:
- Exact dates of all your previous jobs
- Details of all training courses you have attended
- Details of all your qualifications and certifications
CREATING THE 'X' FACTOR
Many people struggle to come up with an 'X' factor and often believe there is nothing really that special about them. Rubbish is what we say. There is something unique and special about all of us and we are going to help you uncover your own personal X Factor.
First of all, find a place where you feel comfortable and at ease. Somewhere you will not be disturbed. Ok, now it is time for some 'self loving'. It is all about you!
Cast your mind forward, you have landed your dream job and are working for a company you love. Keep this picture in your mind and write down your answers the following questions:
- What qualities do you most admire in yourself?
- What does your mother most like about you?
- What does your best friend most like about you?
- Why would you employ you?
You should now have a list of lots of positive, good words which describe you and you should be well on the way to having an 'X'.
Now let's put some meat on the bones. An 'X' Factor is not just about who you are but also what you can do. So let's have a look at your achievements to date.
List your last 3 jobs on a piece of paper and think of 3 achievements you are proud of for each job you have had. An achievement may be winning an award or simply receiving an exceptionally nice comment from a customer. This needs to be personal and it needs to be impressive. For example, your CV may look something like this:
Beauty Therapist Spa Holistic June 2000 , … current day
- Awarded retailer of the year in 2004
- Developed a new customer care program for the spa in May 2006
- Contributed to the successful launch of a new makeup range in Jan 2007
Great, you now have a list of great words which describe you plus a bunch of things you have achieved in previous jobs, would you employ you yet?
We need one more thing to put the icing on the cake! Some references! Most people shudder at the thought of getting a reference. They think it is something that is designed to 'catch them out' and stop them from getting a job. Wrong. It is a second opinion, confirmation that you are who you say you are, a very important part of the recruitment process.
So where does this come into the CV writing process? Hairandbeautyjobs.com are in the business of creating the best jobseekers in the market and therefore we want you to have the best CV you possibly can. So this is our 'secret weapon' to help you create some sparkle.
You have created your list of why you think an employer should employ you and now you need to call in some favors and get previous bosses, managers or even colleagues to do the same.
References must always be 'professional' and by that we mean that you can't ask your mum, next door neighbour or best friend to write one. Lets face it, what employer is going to take their word for it … of course they are going to say you are GREAT!
Ideally, ask your most recent employer to write 3 or 4 lines about why they would recommend you to a new employer and mention one or two 'outstanding' things you did whilst you worked for them. Check they are happy for you to include these in your CV and to give their name and contact number. If for whatever reason you can't ask your most recent employer, ask any line manager you have worked for or college lecturer who trained you or even a colleague you worked with if they will help you create an outstanding CV and write you a reference.
WRITING YOUR 'SPARKLING' CV
OK, so you should now have everything you need to write an award winning CV. Our recommended structure and layout looks something like this:
TITLE: CURRICULUM VITAE (CV)
YOUR CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS (including mobile)
YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
PERSONAL PROFILE (OR STATEMENT)
- Here use the words which positively describe you, such as 'I am a hardworking, committed therapist with a passion for delivering excellent treatments and a high level of customer service'.
- Highlight your number of years experience and mention some of the training you have received which maybe relevant for the job you are applying for. For example: ' I have 5 years experience as a therapist in the spa industry and am fully trained in Thalgo, Elemis and Jessica.
- Outline the opportunity you are looking for in your next career move. For example: 'I am an ambitious individual looking for a senior therapist role in a holistic spa environment. I am seeking further responsibility and an opportunity to progress my management career'.
List your current and previous roles starting with the most recent.
Give the title of your role, the name of the company and the dates you started and left (month and year). The layout may look like this>
Spa Manager The Ashes Hotel and Spa June 03 … Jul 06
Then write a brief outline of your responsibilities using only one or two sentences.
Next, bullet point your achievements within this role (your TOP 3)
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Summarize details of your education including qualifications
BTEC Beauty Therapy and Management Worthing College 2002 … 2003
9 GCSEs The local School, Guildford
Next, list all training courses attended including dates, for example:
St Tropez 2002
Elemis face and Body 2005
Date of Birth
Favorite fancy dress costume (optional!)
You could add in here the things you enjoy doing in your spare time or some personal achievements you are proud of such as running a marathon; charity work; climbing Everest!
Give details of 2 references:
'I recommend Sally to a future employer because ...'
Suzies Salon, High Street Chester
Tel: 07754 345 000
Well that's it. Your CV is now complete and you are well on your way to landing an interview for your dream job. Good luck!