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Format of a CV | ‘Job Hopper’ | LinkedIn

Good evening all. I am writing this as we work through a late night of calling candidates to get them into new jobs! Exciting times. I have looked over a huge number of CVs in my time and I constantly find mistakes that should not be made. Not only is it frustrating and time consuming for me but it is also stopping people from even getting through the door of a potential employer, so I am going to discuss that tonight.

So you are writing up your CV with all your experience, dates, qualifications etc. and you wonder how you should format it? Your CV should be very simple to scan over, employers take literally seconds to review a CV they are going to shortlist. Make it simple for the prospective employer to give you a second view. Always include your name, address and contact details. Some of the CV’s I have been through this week do not have any form of contact what so ever! How are we meant to contact you?! Not only are contact details useful to speak to you but they also help an employer determine if you are living in the right area for them.

A brief personal description is always good try and put some key words that link to your work experience and really sell yourself as a candidate. I wouldn’t put any more than a short paragraph in for this, the employer is looking more for your work experience and suitability for the job than what you do at the weekend.

Your career history should be next and should always be in the front page to give maximum opportunity for them to see what you are doing now that is relative to the job. Ensure that your current/latest role is the first one on your CV and not the other way around. Job title – Company name – Dates followed by a sentence or two of what your role was. (If you have been working short contract roles then please put in brackets after the dates ‘6 Month Contract’ or however long it was, you do not want to be seen as a job hopper and be discarded at the first look!) After this I like to see bullet points listing the roles responsibilities ensuring the key parts that will attract employer’s eyes! For example if you are applying for an accounts role – Completing bank reconciliations, Preparation and submission of VAT returns, Using Vlookups on Excel to create management reports.

Once you have completed your career history go back through the job description (if you are applying for a particular role) and ensure that in your bullet points are the key bits of experience the employer is looking for and that you are able to demonstrate if you are invited for interview.

Under your career experience you can then list your qualifications and also any systems you have experience in; Excel, Sage, Word and so on. To finish off putting a note of ‘References available on request’, the reason I wouldn’t advise you to put the names and contact details of your current/previous employer is simply that you do not want anyone to have a difficult conversation the following day when you go to work and are asked by your manager why it is they got a call for a reference while you are still working there!

Writing a CV is all about selling yourself and your experience and making it as easy as
possible for an employer to see the skills they want from a candidate. If you are unsure or would like some help when applying for a role then speak to your recruitment agent, they will be more than happy to help.

I touched on ‘job hopping’ above and want to go into a little more detail. We deal with a number of employers each day who always say to us ‘I don’t want a job hopper!’ and what they mean by this is a candidate who has moved roles regularly and is seen as a negative. However there is always two sides to this and in some cases looking at a CV and determining ‘Job Hopper’ status is not as simple as some employers may think! There are many reasons why candidates get branded as such however this can be unfair! If you have worked contract roles, as I said, make sure this is on your CV. There are various other reasons including redundancy, time relative roles, mobile roles etc. When you apply for a job through a recruitment agency managing the employers perception I think is a lot easier. Your recruitment consultant will always go through your work experience and discuss the times you
have spent in each role. Make sure you give them a clear understanding as to why you left the roles. This way when they submit you to a potential employer this can be explained and can overcome the ‘job hopper’ rejection pile!

What made me smile this week

England VS Poland! A 2-0 win which meant World Cup Qualification! Some good performances from the last couple of games, especially from Andros Townsend (have to add it’s because he
was at QPR last year!). Looking forward to next summer now. We haven’t been seeded even though we have moved back to 10th place in the FIFA rankings, so we will have a more difficult group than we would have liked. None the less after all the media attention Roy Hodgson has been getting it’s really good to see us through.

Have a great week!!

AJ Jameson

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