Nick Allett: Interview tips – creating a winning CV
So it’s taken me a bit of time to write this, in fact, I have left it to the very last minute. Why? Because I wasn’t exactly too sure why I should be writing this. I mean I haven’t even been to college or university and I just about graduated from school!
That’s when it struck me, it is possible to do whatever you want, as long as you keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. Be determined and persistent, always try hard and never giving up as everything takes time.
I have always had a keen interest in computers and technology, breaking them and then attempting to fix them, a lot of the time without success! So when I left school I applied for every IT role I could find. Sure, some were out of my league but eventually, someone was willing to give me an opportunity and I took it by both hands.
I started off as a Junior IT Engineer for a technology company installing and supporting EPoS systems across the UK. I met loads of people, got given grief by angry customers, but here I picked up valuable skills and experience which I have taken with me through my IT career. I have since worked with retail giants through to broadcast and media corporations. Now eleven years later and I’m a freelance IT Consultant working from home in Spain.
Although there is one key element to all of this and I wouldn’t have got any of my jobs and gained any of my experience without my Curriculum Vitae or CV. This is what all recruiters and employers see first and the way to get your foot in the door.
The UK job market is booming with over 200,000 jobs available or REED alone! So having a well presented and eye-catching CV is crucial to standing out in this crowded space. Employers can have hundreds of CVs put in front of them and if yours doesn’t catch their attention you lose the opportunity to the first stage. An interview.
Check out my free interview winning CV template that I have used to propel my career and work with companies such as Timberland, Pizza Express, BBC, Endemol Shine and Absolute Radio.
So here are my Top CV Tips.
Just a few brief words to introduce yourself, personal strengths and your background. A good statement to add is “I am able to easily adapt to new environments, working as part of a team or on my own initiative” or something like “I am well presented, organised and customer focused with strong communication skills”
Adding keywords can be useful to briefly summarise some of your strengths. For example, I use keywords such as “Windows & Linux Servers”, “Helpdesk Management”, “IP PBX / VOIP”.
Employers like to know what you have been doing for the last five years or last three job positions. But make sure you start with your most recent or current position. Details to include should be your employer’s name, your job title and dates you worked there, a brief description of the role and any notable achievements while working at the company. Provide a detailed, bullet point list of your responsibilities. This makes it easy for employers to skim over your CV and see exactly what you were doing, rather than trawling through and deciphering paragraphs of text. With this in mind try and keep your CV short; 2 or 3 pages long is sufficient.
Provide a list of your qualifications and anything else that you feel may be beneficial. I have added languages as I speak English (obviously) and have a level of Spanish. It’s also good to list some of your hobbies and interests; this gives the employer a bit of an insight into you as a person.
I have a few notes at the bottom of my CV such as “I have my own transport” and “I have my own tools”. Notes like these can be very useful to employers.
Add a couple of your best references to your CV; alternately you can add “Available upon request”.
I hope my CV tips and interviewing winning CV template will help you to drive your career in the right direction and secure you a spot in the hot-seat in front of the hiring manager.
Written by Nick Allett
For an example of a winning CV template, email us now: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Nick on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickallett/