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A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is often the first stage of a job application. It should promote an individual and highlight their credentials in order to help them get an interview for a role.

One of the popular zones at Ag Careers Live, Britain’s only national careers event focused on the agricultural industry, was the CV Clinic run by recruitment consultancy Noble Futures. Throughout the day, the consultants advised on over 50 CVs.

Here are 10 of their top tips for making your CV sing:

1.     The CV must be no longer than two pages of A4 – clear, succinct, easy to read and well laid out

2.     Make sure you use a spellchecker on your CV – correct spelling and grammar is so important

3.     The essential areas to be included are:

  • A professional and personal summary

Emphasise your key attributes and your intended/desired career path

  • Work experience

Provide a summarised list of work experience, starting the the most recent first. Highlight key relevant achievements and show results of your work.

If you’re applying for your first role, include a bullet point list of any part-time work to reflect a good work ethic and sense of responsibility.

  • Qualifications and education

Show degree achieved, subject and university

Secondary school education and list achievements obtained

List relevant professional qualifications

  • Personal interests

Hobbies, sports, club memberships. Obviously only list those that reflect well and are likely to be of interest to an employer.

  • Contact details

Full name and address, email address, mobile number, LinkedIn profile

  • References

It should suffice to put a note that personal/professional references are available on request, but make sure you can provide them if asked to do so.

4.     Make your CV relevant to the role and company you are applying to and always send a covering letter when sending your CV. This gives you another opportunity to impress – keep it brief, but outline why you are applying for the role and close by saying that you’re hoping to receive an invitation to interview.

5.     Give a good impression – highlight your strengths and give examples that show your desire to succeed, work ethic, problem resolution, team work, leadership.

6.     Keep it accurate and honest – dishonesty will be uncovered.

7.     Prepare a paper copy and an electronic version, either as a Microsoft Word document or PDF. Use a standard business font, such as Arial unless you are applying for a creative role and you think a different font is more suitable.

8.     Check your social media permissions are secure and ensure anything visible on your profile is something you are happy for a potential employer to see.

9.     Use an email address of a sensible or professional nature.

10.  When you have finished your CV, leave it a while and then read it again. If you’re not impressed, it needs more work.

Noble Futures is a specialist recruitment consultancy for the Animal Health, Agricultural, Equine and Pet industries.