SJD's top five CV tips

Download our FREE Contractor's Guide to finding a Contract.

Errors - Terrors
Just one letter's difference! Don't let errors in punctuation or grammar be the reason for you not getting that contract. Clients and recruiters are always looking for ways to weed out poor or weak CV's; give yours a fighting chance by getting the basics right. Get friends to read it for you, spotting your own mistakes isn't always easy.

Two pages not ten
There has been lots of research on how many pages the perfect CV should have. All evidence points towards two. It's about getting the right balance between just giving enough information to ensure the client wants to find out more about you and not too much so they get boring reading it. Think of the difference between 'brochure copy' and 'advertising copy' - in CV terms brochure copy allows the client to decide there and then if you're the right candidate for the job without even seeing you. Advertising copy gives just enough information to tease and ensure they call you in to find out more.

It's a CV not a job description
Your CV must be full of successes; explain not only what you've done but also how successful you've been. In the contract world this is even more important as clients are looking for winners and achievers. People who have a track record of delivering results are most likely to get that interview.

Does one size fit all?
No, of course not, one size rarely fits anybody. Your CV shouldn't be a mass produced item, it should be tailored to meet the needs of each role you're applying for. Yes you have numerous skills and experiences, but it doesn't mean they are all relevant for the position you're applying for. Some but not all job boards and recruiters do allow different CV's to be submitted, look out for these sites and use the facility whenever possible.

Been travelling recently?
Time out of work on a CV can be a good thing, if sold correctly, it can show depth of character. If you've been off travelling around the world, provide a few details of the skills needed for such a journey e.g. project management skills, self motivation, teamwork, leaderships skills, communication skills etc. It's better to have full continuity on your CV, gaps aren't good, it's better for you to say what you've been up to rather than letting the client come up with their own conclusions.

Plus one extra, it was just too hard to keep it to five!

Make sure your CV is outstanding and irresistible.
Your CV can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Spend time on getting it right, companies spend millions on packaging to try and tempt you in the supermarket, make sure your CV does the same for you.

You may also find the following useful:

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new business team on 01442 275789 or email: newbusiness@sjdaccountancy.com.