The CV that might have served you well in your forces career will now need a make-over in order to make it suitable for the world of business. All the skills are there, they just need to be re-worded and re-worked in order to make you a standout candidate when you start applying for roles.
Here are our top five CV writing tips:
- Are you up to date?
It sounds basic but you need to ensure that all of the basic information is up-to-date. This includes your address and contact numbers and your referees. In the past it was normal to include your date of birth but most people tend to omit this from their CVs nowadays.
- It’s all in the detail
Once you have the basics correct you can move on to your career history. Make sure that the chronological order is accurate and give more detail for your more recent roles as those are the ones that employers will be most interested in. Try where possible to show any results or achievements that you may have achieved, for example, the practical application of software or hardware or the fact that you lead and motivated a unit.
- Making the transfer
Don’t forgot to mention all of the transferable or ‘soft skills’ that you may have picked up during your forces career. These can include, the ability to both take and give direction, being able to convey information clearly and succinctly or assessing situations and making, sensible clear decisions.
- Looking to the future
You need to be able to convince the person reading your CV that a transfer into the business world is one that you are willing and able to take. This means proving that you are keen to learn new skills and apply them in your new role. Show your enthusiasm and drive!
- Getting personal
The trend has been in recent years to add a personal statement (or profile or career summary), to the top of your CV. It can seem like the hardest thing to write but remember that a well written statement only needs to be between 50 to 200 words long. Where possible you should always tailor the personal statement to the job that you are applying for – highlighting how your skills match the job role. In the statement you should state; who you are, your career aim and why they should pick you. A well (or badly) written personal statement can be make or break on a CV, so it is important that it is punchy and to the point.
The Covering Letter
Universally hated by most job applicants – it can be hard to know what to say on the covering letter.
The general rule of thumb would be to include the following – and only on one sheet of paper:
- Your contact details
- Their contact details
- Any job reference number - in bold
- A paragraph on why you are applying for the role
- A paragraph on why you are suitable for the role - picking out key skills from the job spec and how they match your own skills.
You might also want someone to give it a once over when you have finished and don’t forget to spell check it before you send it!