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Create the perfect CV

Rob Yeung
Rob Yeung is a psychologist and author.

On Wednesday's programme we held a CV clinic with career expert Rob Yeung.

We asked him for his CV dos and don'ts: here are his top tips.

Start from scratch
Always write a new CV from scratch rather than updating an old one. The risk of merely updating an old one is that you leave information on there that is no longer relevant.

Stick to recent employment history
Remember that employers are most interested in the last three to seven years of your experience, so write more about those jobs. If you have considerably more experience, summarise it briefly.

Tailor each CV
Remember to tailor your CV to the needs of each individual employer. Weak candidates often type up one CV and then send it out to lots of employers.

Strong candidates will change words and phrases on every single CV they send out in order to make each employer sit up and take notice.

Speak the employer's language
Paraphrase the key words and phrases that the employer uses on the job description. For example, if the employer talks about wanting people with "leadership and charisma", it makes good sense to use that exact phrase rather than talking about something you think is similar like "management and presence".

Sell yourself
Remember that a CV is a sales document. Put on it only the information that will sell you to the employer. You don't have to include everything - for example why you left previous jobs.

Work experience
Don't just describe the job titles you have held in the past when describing your work experience. Also include your main achievements from each job.

For example, if you improved anything, made anything faster or more efficient, coached or developed anyone else, managed the relationships with any particular customers, introduced any new technology or ways of working, and so on.

Keep it simple
Keep your CV plain and simple. Print it on plain white paper. Have sensible margins and use a readable typeface. Don't try to reduce the margins or use a smaller font to squeeze more information on your CV - that only shows to employers that you can't prioritise what's important!

Share yours own tips with Working Lunch on our Viewers' Views page:


Dr Rob Yeung is a psychologist and coach at consultancy Talentspace, and author of books including 'Confidence: The art of getting whatever you want' and 'The Rules of Job Hunting'. His views are not those of the BBC.



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