Improve your CV with our helpful tips
Your CV must look clean and well laid out, with an abundance of white space to enhance readability. It should be two pages long unless your industry has its own standards; for instance, if you are expected to include your publications or details of many projects.
Use a simple font like Arial, 10-12pt, and keep formatting like italics and underlining to a minimum. Bullets are extremely useful in CVs as they allow you to highlight key points succintly and keep the document looking tidy. Start each one with an action verb if you can ('created', 'managed', 'increased', 'improved' etc), rather than 'I'.
Spelling and punctuation must be perfect, so after you proofread and spell-check it, give it to a friend to check it over for readability and any errors you may have missed. Hiring organisations are inundated with so many applications that many have implemented extremely strict criteria: if your CV looks cluttered or if one full stop is out of place, it may be removed from consideration.
Name, address and contact details
Make sure to use the phone number and email address that you use most often. You don’t want to disappoint an employer by failing to respond to their invitation to an interview in a timely fashion.
Your nationality and working visa details
This is only relevant if you are on a working visa, so employers know in advance how long you will be resident in the country
This is optional, but it’s a good opportunity to highlight in a sentence or two what you hope to achieve in your next position and what you feel you can offer to an employer. In marketing terms, this is the place for your ‘USP’, or unique sales proposition.
The reader of your CV may not have more than a few seconds to spend scanning applications, so including a skills section can capture their attention by making it immediately clear what you can offer. Highlight a brief bulleted list of the skills and experience that you possess that are relevant to the role, such as software packages you have worked on. Wherever possible, use the same adjectives as those used in the advertisement.
For instance, if the ad specifies someone who has ‘effective administrative abilities and excellent interpersonal skills’, these should be addressed under your skills section in the same order, although not verbatim, as this will be too obvious.
This is your work history and includes paid work and any relevant volunteer or work experience placements. Work backwards from your most recent job and don’t leave any gaps; these could lead potential employers to suspect the worst. If you took a year out, carried out an interim assignment or travelled for six months, say so. It could be useful to treat it in the same way as a job, indicating what your accomplished and learned in this time.
If you are a graduate, you may not have a great deal of work experience, although many graduates undertake day release or a year out in the industry. In this case, highlight the relevant skills that you gained in your course or on work experience. Again, list each position in reverse order, so that the most recent appears first.
Education and training
Use your common sense here. If you have an advanced degree, few people are going to be concerned about your more basic qualifications. Make sure to also include any training courses that you have done that are relevant to the job that you are applying for.
These are optional, but should you choose to include a section on hobbies and interests, keep it very brief. Avoid saying anything that could be contentious (e.g. political or religious affiliations), and wherever possible, use the space to show how you can fit in with the organisational culture.
Actual references are rarely included on CVs. It is usually fine to simply say 'References are available on request'.
Although the number and style of interviews you may be required to attend when applying for a job at DOCS may vary depending on location, there are a number of common pieces of advice we can offer you which may help.
Some questions that may be appropriate to your interview include:
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DOCS’ parent company, ICON plc, today announced that it has agreed, subject to closing conditions, to acquire the Clinical Trial Services Division of Cross Country Healthcare, Inc. (NASDAQ:CCRN), a leader in healthcare staffing services. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013.
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