CV Writing Tips

Contact details

Make sure to use the phone number and email address that you use most often. You don’t want to miss an opportunity by failing to respond to an invitation quickly 

Personal summary

Ensure the first area at the top of your CV is a summary of your experience and includes specific experience in relation to the job ad.

Skills

Include a skills section to capture the reader's attention by making it clear what you can offer. Use a brief bulleted list of the skills and key strengths that you possess that are relevant to the role, such as sites you have worked on our software you have worked with.

Experience

This section should include your work history and any relevant volunteer or work experience placements. Highlight your career successes and highlight your skills and experience.   

Your other considerations should be:

  • Work backwards from your most recent job and don’t leave any gaps (if you have a career gap, explain why)

  • List your highest qualifications by course name and grade achieved

  • Make sure to include any training courses or professional/industry standard qualifications  

  • Include any memberships to chartered institutes or relevant organisations.

 

References

Not essential to have on a CV. It is perfectly acceptable to say 'References are available on request'.

Writing your notice

Give appropriate notice
You must stick to your contractual notice period, this can be found in your contract of employment.The most important information to include in a resignation letter is the date you plan to leave the company. This helps ease the transition for the employer, as well as for you. Put this date very early in the letter.

Say thank you
You should also let the employer know you appreciate your time with the company. If you were not particularly happy at the company, or if your relationship with your supervisor or colleagues was contentious, you can keep this expression of thanks brief. It's enough to simply say, "I've enjoyed my time at ABC company." or "My two years at ABC company have been a pleasure."

Offer to help
If possible, offer the employer assistance as they look for a replacement. This help could come in the form of recruiting or training a new employee. 

Ask questions
If you have any questions, including where to leave work supplies or questions about your benefits, you might include these in your letter as well.

Don't vent or complain.
A resignation letter is not the time to share frustrations about coworkers, managers, or the company. Keep in mind that you may someday need a reference from people who will see this letter, so it is best to be polite.

Keep your letter short
A resignation letter should be simple, brief, focused, and to the point. You do not have to state your reason for leaving 

Double-check before you send.

You should also thoroughly proofread the letter before sending it. Again, you may need to ask for a recommendation from your employer.

Interview Tips

Before the interview

Research and planning are key. This is as much for your benefit as it is the company:

  • Take the time to do some research about the company you’re about to have the interview with, there is nothing worse than spending 20 minutes engaging in small talk.

  • Research your interviewer. Social Media tools are usually the best for this. Find some mutual ground which can help you fit in the company culture. 

  • Read the job description thoroughly. beofre your interview, re-read it. Make sure you know exactly what your job will be if you get the position, highlight instances in which you have done the tasks.

  • Be well prepared. By this I mean get your clothes ready, get a well nights rest, check traffic and plan your route so you arrive at least 10 minutes early.

Checklist

  • Your CV, so the interviewer can run through your skills

  • Postcode of the organisation so you don’t get lost on your way to the interview

  • Pen & notepad. It’s always handy to make notes on key points

Nerves

  • Speak slowly and clearly whilst taking deep breaths

  • Be confident. 

  • When approached with a difficult question, have a moment to think and ask for clarification if the question isn’t clear

  • You’re not alone. We’ve all been through the dreaded interviews, as long as you be yourself, you have the best chance of succeeding.

First impressions

  • Firstly, stand up straight, introduce yourself and offer a firm handshake. Not too firm though.

  • Introduce yourself. 

  • Be enthusiastic, it shows confidence & interest.

  • Don’t speak about any personal problems, the interview is about your ability to do the role.

  • Display positive body language and be well mannered

  • Don’t badmouth any of your previous employees.

  • Let your personality show as much as possible, it helps the interviewer decide whether you would be good for the company culture

  • Take notes and inform the interviewer you are open to any follow-up questions after the interview

  • Before leaving, thank them and give another firm handshake

 

Handling Counter Offers

What is most important to you when accepting a new role?

Counter-offers can take many forms: an increase in salary, additional company benefits, a promotion or new job title, additional responsibility, a change in role, more involvement in what interests you.

Why you should stand your ground

There is rarely a good reason to accept a counter offer and stay where you are. You wanted to move, you've been through the recruitment process, you've been successful and you have scored a job that meets your criteria.

Think about these:

  • From the day of your resignation, your loyalty will always be in question

  • This lack of loyalty is likely to be an obstacle to future promotions

  • Your colleagues will look at you differently - after all, you do not really want to be there

  • Your boss will probably start casting around for your replacement immediately.

  • Why are they offering you what you deserve now, rather than before your resignation?


Do not let an unexpected counter offer stop you from leaving. Thank your employer for the opportunity and confirm your intention to leave.

However, should you decide not to leave for pastures new, be aware that your resignation will not been forgotten. You are going to have to work extremely hard to win back your employer's trust. You might have to strive harder than your colleagues to prove your loyalty and worthiness as a long-term prospect.