Sending your CV to an employer is the first stage in the job application process and it's vital that you demonstrate you're a suitable candidate by highlighting your relevant skills and work experience.
Here are our CV tips to help you make that great first impression – these tips can be used in applications for a variety of roles in the field of building control.
What should I include in my CV?
Start with your employment history and list the most recent and relevant periods of work first. It's common for people to list their duties when describing their past and present work – avoid this. It's much better to write about your achievements or the positive outcomes of the things you worked on. Use active language and 'power' words to make it sound like you're a go-getter, someone who takes action. For example, 'I promoted the Building Control service at industry events and compiled a database of leads and useful contacts' sounds more compelling than 'I was involved in promotion and administration at industry events'.
List your education and qualifications after your employment history with the most recent achievements first. If you have quite a few qualifications under your belt, be selective and only include the ones that are most relevant to the job you're applying for.
It's acceptable to state that 'references are available on request' to save space instead of writing out all of your references' contact details. It's likely that references will be requested later on at the interview stage.
Keep your hobbies and interests short and sweet. There's no need to include everything about you; employers don't need to hear your whole life story!
How can I make my CV stand out and impress employers?
Job adverts and descriptions usually have a set of essential and desirable criteria. It's important to demonstrate how you fit the criteria by giving real-life examples in the work environment.
- Essential criteria example: 'the ability to work with technology will be beneficial.'
- What you could say: 'Worked across various software applications and our BC mobile app to review plans and record inspection details on site.'
How long should my CV be?
Your CV should be no more than two pages long (A4 paper size, 12-point font size). If you're still in the early stages of your career, one page is acceptable. You may have to go over two pages if you have plenty of experience at senior levels and have a lot to say! This is fine as long as the information is strongly relevant to the job you're applying for.
If you need help reducing the length of your CV use bullet points instead of long lines and paragraphs. Bulleted lists are easier for employers to read and scan for key points.
How can I make my CV look good?
Choose a simple, easy to read font such as Arial, Helvetica or Segoe UI, point size 11-12 and keep it consistent throughout. The lines should be well spaced and use generous page margins – white space makes the page appear clean and tidy.
You can make the headings bold or slightly larger to help separate the different sections on the page. If you're feeling creative you can even use a different font – just make sure it complements the main font you've used for the body text.
Aim for perfection
By perfection we mean there should be absolutely no errors with spelling, punctuation or grammar. A CV with mistakes means you haven't paid attention to the details and reveals a level of carelessness. Use the spell checker tool in your word processing program to pick up some errors you may have missed but remember the spell checker might miss things too. Be sure to read through your CV again or have it checked by someone else with good English before sending off your application.
Tailor your CV for each job you apply for and make sure you've addressed the key points in the job description with specific, relevant examples from your experience in the work environment.