Best practices for writing a CV

If you are applying for a new job, having an effective CV gives you a better chance of a job interview, so make sure that you tell a prospective employer why you are right for the job and showcase your skills and experience.

Although there is no right or wrong way to write a CV, certain information should be present. This includes: personal and contact information; education and qualifications; work history and/or experience; relevant skills to the job in question; and a mention of some of your interests and achievements or hobbies.

Before starting to create your CV, you need to make sure that you understand the job description taking into account all the details. You can take notes, highlighting everything you can and can’t do for the role.

Tailor your CV to the position you are applying for, there is no such thing as a generic CV. Make sure you mention key skills that can help you to stand out from the rest of the applications. Under interests, describe any examples of positions of responsibility, working in a team or things that show you use your own initiative. Make yourself sound really interesting.

Remember to be honest and factual and stick to a maximum of two pages of A4 paper.

Each area of your CV should be easy to read and the key points need to stand out. Make sure you proof read it and find any potential spelling and grammar errors, if in doubt, ask someone else to double-check it for you.

Remember to keep your CV up to date and add any new skills or experience that you have gained. 

Career Advice

Whether you’re just starting out on the career ladder, fancy a change or you’re simply hunting for a new job, planning a new career can be an exciting yet daunting process.

Use our search box to look for a job that’s right for you and follow these handy tips to help you on your way.

CV

Your CV is your passport to a face-to-face interview, so it’s important to get it right.

The most widely accepted format is two sides of A4 listing your name, contact details, key skills and achievements, work experience, education and qualifications, hobbies and referees.

Make sure it’s laid out clearly in distinct sections, and always list your work experience, education and qualifications in reverse chronological order.

Cover letter

Your cover letter is an opportunity to elaborate on some of the key skills and achievements on your CV.

Although it’s tempting to send the same cover letter each time you apply for a new job, it’s important to tailor it carefully for each application you make.

Employers want to know exactly why you’re the ideal person for the job, and, specifically, how your previous skills and experience can be applied in that role.

Cover letters should be no more than one page long and be kept simple, polite and to-the-point.

The interview

The best advice for a successful interview is to be prepared. Anticipate some of the questions you might be asked, such as why you left your previous job, what your weaknesses are or an example of a time when you demonstrated particular skills, and make a note of some answers.

Being clean, smartly-dressed, punctual and friendly are crucial, but employers also like to see that you’ve taken the time to research their company, and are interested enough to ask relevant questions.

Be careful not to ramble in your answers – be clear and concise, smile, and make eye contact.

Employers will usually let you know when they’ll be making a decision, but if you haven’t heard from them after a week or two, it’s perfectly acceptable to give them a call and check the status of your application.

Working in Guernsey

If you are not an island resident but want to apply for a job in Guernsey you need to ensure that you will be able to find accommodation.

Only people with valid housing licences issued by the States of Guernsey Housing Authority can remain in the island and they must leave the island when the licence expires.

For seasonal work, such as in the catering or growing industries, licences for periods of up to nine months are available.
Longer licences of up to three years are also available for people working in these industries.
These licences do not cover dependants.

For jobs in other sectors, such as the finance industry, the Housing Authority issues ‘essential’ housing licences. These are generally sought by the employer and are tied to a specific post.

Essential licences are generally issued for periods of three or five years and they are renewed only rarely.
In exceptional circumstances the Authority issues a permanent (ie 15 year) licence to employment, covering an employee and his/her spouse and children. If the family completes the 15 year residency they earn local residential qualifications.

All employed people in Guernsey have to obtain a Right to Work document to prove that they are legally housed in the island. Employers have a legal requirement to ensure that all new employees have a Right to Work document.

If a job advert does not make it clear that the position is open to non-locals, check with the advertiser regarding accommodation and housing licence requirements.

More information for people looking to live in Guernsey is available from the States of Guernsey Housing Department in the ‘Housing Control’ section. This can be found on the States of Guernsey’s site, here.

©2017 Guernsey Press