Fundamentals of a Good CV
In 1482, Leonardo da Vinci allegedly wrote the first CV. Unfortunately, nothing much has changed since then. Yes, you now have LinkedIn (don’t worry, Cruncher has you covered on that with a quick search for “LinkedIn” on our homepage) but the fundamentals of the good old CV haven’t changed much.
There’s a good way and a not-so-good way to structure your CV. And there are a few tricks specific to applications for trainee accountant roles.
Your CV won’t get you a job, but it can give you a much better chance of getting an interview. We put our heads together here in Cruncher, and asked a few experts too, and came up with a CV template for you (download here). We want you to have the very best CV possible.
To make it even easier, we’ve broken the perfect graduate CV down into a couple of sections. See below:
- Your personal profile: name, address and contact details – easy as that. You can go all out and include a summary (see in red below) but if you do, be careful to tailor it for each application. Our best advice is to put this summary into your cover letter or application email (Cruncher has you covered on that too with a quick search for “Cover Letter” on our homepage) but you can include it on your CV if you really want to go the extra mile.
- Your education: see the simple format below. Include results, bold the qualification and don’t get caught up with long lists of subjects. If you knocked it out of the park in a particular subject, put it in there – especially if it’s directly relevant to the role you’re applying for. An appendix at the end can be handy to include extra detail if you feel you’re selling yourself short by not including it. The image below shows how points one and two fit together – you’ll see that we’ve used a basic text (Calibri, font size 11), no italics and kept it evenly spaced and easy on the eye. With that done, you’re one third of the way there!
- Your experience: see the example below. Clear, concise bullet points. Bullet points shouldn’t be more than one to two lines each. Provide more detail for more recent and relevant roles, and less detail for more distant and less relevant roles. Employers will be interested in the fact that you worked in the local hotel during your summer holidays, but not interested (or, to put it another way, not interested at all) in the detail around how you performed those duties. We once saw a CV that went into huge detail on how the person marinated chicken in a part-time role on their gap year – it made for great chicken pasta, but not for a great CV!
- The rest: this is the part where your personality, achievements and other skills should shine through. Don’t waffle, but don’t be shy. In an earlier post, we explained why employers love extracurricular activities and achievements – read about it here. Be sure to give them what they want! And don’t forget to give some detail on any software packages you’ve used (Microsoft Excel, in particular). These small things could give you an edge over the other girl or guy.
- Serve it up: Once you’ve your CV in the above format, proofread it 10 times and spell check it 100 times. Watch out for ‘licence’, ‘practise’ and other such classics. You’re now ready to go. Save your CV in Microsoft Word format – this makes it easier for companies to save to their systems.
Your CV will represent you out there in the professional world, so give it the time it deserves.
To make life really easy for you, the team at Cruncher have uploaded a sample graduate CV – you can download it here or search on our RESOURCES section where you can read more about related topics such as LinkedIn, cover letters and much much more.
To make life really easy for you, the team at Cruncher have uploaded a sample graduate CV – you can download it here or search on our RESOURCES section where you can read more about related topics such as LinkedIn, cover letters and much more.