This week’s GOFISH blog is brought to you by our GOFISH Team member, Tom Ralph:
Being stuck at home for a long period of time can be boring. I think I can safely say that we are all finding it difficult to fill our time without being able to leave the house properly. However, if you are to look at the situation we find ourselves in with an optimistic mindset then you will see this as the perfect opportunity to get yourself prepared for securing your dream job when this virus eventually blows over.
There is one particular tool that is crucial to getting you the job you desire; your CV. Why not take this extra time you have to get it updated? Here are some pointers to what you should include to create the perfect CV:
1. Contact information and your name – Many people forget to add their contact information to their CV. This is crucial! Remember to add a mobile number and an email address. Also remember when you are job searching to answer any calls from unknown numbers in a polite and professional manner. You could be talking to your next employer! If you can’t answer the phone, ensure you have a professional voicemail set up.
2. Personal Statement – A personal statement is your opportunity to explain to the person reading your CV all of your key skills, as well as a clear and concise career objective. It doesn’t have to be a mass of words, just a paragraph will be fine.
3. Employment history – This is a list of all of the positions you have been employed in. Don’t worry if you haven’t had one yet, you can simply explain that the role you are applying for would be your first job. With your employment history, you must ensure that all of your positions have a brief summary of what you did, as well as the dates you worked there. These dates must be as accurate as possible and you must explain any gaps.
4. Education and training – Here is your opportunity to explain what level of education you have received and/or any qualifications you may hold. This can include GSCEs, A Levels, BTECs, apprenticeships and many more.
5. Hobbies and interests – It is always important to add some information about you. This is your chance to tell the employer about you as a person. What do you do in your spare time?
6. Summary – It is always important to summarise your CV into a paragraph. Just briefly mention the key points but also ensure that you finish with something along the lines of; “Thank you for taking the time to read my CV, I look forward to hearing from you soon”.
7. References – It’s always important to have 2 or 3 references. These are people either from a previous job or a family member or friend. Make sure you ask the permission of your referees before adding their contact information.
8. Proof read! – Possibly the most important part of your CV is ensuring there are no mistakes! Make sure that once you have finished, read it through to check the spelling, punctuation and grammar. If these aren’t your strong point then feel free to ask someone else. The GOFISH team are more than happy to help.
9. Following on from your CV, it can also be very beneficial to add a covering letter. A covering letter is quite simply a letter addressed to the individual who is hiring for the position. For example, if the job was working in a shop, you may wish to address the letter to the store manager. The letter doesn’t need to be very long, but it must include the reasons why you are applying for the position and you should also pick out some key points from your CV such as your relevant skills and experience.
Once again, it is very important to check the spelling and grammar of your covering letter, just as you would with your CV. Read through it 2 or 3 times to make sure it makes sense and always ask someone else to check it as well. The GOFISH team will also happily help you with this.
Best of luck with you CV and make sure you stay safe,