As part of our month-long Jobs In Games special, in association with OPM, the recruitment agency offers advice on how to create a strong Curriculum Vitae.
Read on to find OPM's expert Dos and Don'ts. Got anything to add? Email James.Batchelor@intentmedia.co.uk and we'll publish the best suggestions later this month.
ONE CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION
by Max Hurd and Catherine Cope, OPM
Over the years we have seen thousands of CVs from people and no matter whom you talk to about how a CV should look, you will always get a thousand different answers.
Our clients receive hundreds of CVs every day and struggle to read them all. Since your CV is no more than a means to an end – getting that interview – it must be easy to read and concise.
What you have to remember is you only get one chance to make a first impression. Your CV is the only thing that you have representing you to the employer at the initial application stage.
Below are some key points that anyone can, and should, apply to their CV before sending it out.
Clear and easy to read
Keep the flow of the CV at a constant, don’t change font size, use italics or bold half way through a paragraph. Don't use fancy fonts where others are easier to read.
Don't set up your CV in boxes or tables. They waste recruiters' time reformatting them into their own corporate style or uploading them into their internal recruitment portal.
Don't waste half the page with just dates and company name, leaving only the other half for your actual job role/responsibilities, use the whole page. Make sure the text is of a size that is easy to read and all text is well spaced.
Do not add pictures and, personally, we would stay away from adding portrait pictures too. Don't fill it with irrelevant information such as height, weight, blood type (yes, we have seen that).
Your name and address and phone number must all be at the top of page one and ensure there are no errors, one mistyped digit on your phone number means you may not get the call you are hoping to receive.
Always use a sensible email address. While it’s fine to have a ‘fun’ and ‘funky’ email address, it is unprofessional to apply to future employers with email addresses like ‘CrazyChickLOL@mail.com’ or ‘SatanicSteve@darkkiller.com’ for example.
Does it work?
If you are adding links or URLs to your CV, make sure they actually work. Sounds obvious but the amount of CVs we receive where web links no longer exist or demos will not open. This is instantly off-putting.
No more than two
Try to avoid exceeding more than two pages in length. Most employers will not spend long ‘scan reading’ your CV to start with, so if key information about you is on page four it will never be picked up. However interesting your life history has been, anything beyond three A4 pages is simply too long.
Briefly summarise your achievements in a short profile at the beginning. What makes you different from other candidates? Make sure this information is something tangible, do not waffle and leave the recruiter/employer none the wiser.
Follow this with a list of your primary skills – so if you’re a coder this would be something like C++, OpenGL, etc… List skills that you’re actually comfortable with, not just something you did once for a day during University. Ask yourself if you were asked to do a test using that skill, could you?
Most recent first
Always list your employment and/or education history with the most recent first. This is usually the most relevant and means employers don’t have to search just to see what you are currently doing.
Nothing but the truth
DO NOT LIE. Some consider bolstering their CV with a little lie here and there, hoping it will improve their chances of making it to the next stage. This is not the way to go and you will be found out. This is also a good reason for an employer to terminate your employment.
It’s not all business
Detail your hobbies and interests (you are human after all), but keep this to a minimum and try to avoid anything controversial such as “I go fox hunting every Sunday”.
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