Your CV is an employer's first impression of your personality, skills and ability. Its content and presentation and how you convey your experience and qualifications, says a great deal about you.

CVs should be informative, concise, to the point and truthful - references and other details will be checked.

If your CV is difficult to read, too short or too long, doesn't make sense or looks irrelevant, you probably will not get an interview. So, how do you get noticed? Following are some very simple hints for you, whatever your level or position.

Important Information

99% of CVs lack all the information required by employers. Pay great attention to this area first!

Always include the following:

Tailor your CV to specific jobs - When applying to any role, carefully read the vacancy details taking into consideration required skills and experiences. Visit the company website to get a clear indication of their needs and wants. Ensure that these requirements are shown clearly on your CV (if you have them).

Travel profile - We constantly receive CVs which mention a passion for travelling but do not indicate locations that applicants have travelled to. This should be common sense if you are applying for positions in the travel industry. Your travelling experience can differentiate you against other applicants. List the countries with a brief synopsis i.e. North America – 2007 - 4 months spent travelling the East Coast. I recently spoke to a candidate who had travelled to over 80 countries and 121 cities and did not think it was important to mention on his CV. Your travel profile alone can get you that elusive job.

Specialist Skills -Take care to ensure that you mention any unique selling points i.e. “Top seller in the company with over £10million nett sales in 2011”, “Tailor-making holidays using Galileo CRS”, “Aussie and Cruise specialist for the office”, etc.

Identity theft - A feature of modern society that is becoming more prevalent and must be considered especially if posting your CV on a jobsite. Numerous CVs contain information such as National Insurance and passport numbers. Some also detail parents’ names. Your mother’s maiden name can be particularly useful to an identity thief as it is one of the main security questions used by banks. This information combined with your name, address and date of birth provides all of the details that criminals need for a number of activities including applying for loans in your name or hacking your bank and email accounts. These details are not required on your CV!


CV Layout

Always start with Contact Details, then Employment History followed by Travel Profile (if applying for a Latin America vacancy and you have travelled extensively in Latin America, position this prior to Employment History). Complete the CV with your Education & Qualifications, Skills and finally Hobbies and Interests (if they are relevant)

Contact Details

Name
Address
Contact Info (mobile/email/home tel.)
Nationality or Work Visa Information (if relevant)

Employment History

Your CV must be clear and concise and explain your duties fully. Bullet points make your job history easier to read.

Most recent or present employer first, followed by other companies in reverse date order, highlighting the month and year you were employed at each company or role. Go back a maximum of 10 years. Write more about the jobs that relate to the role that you are applying for. 

  • Dates of Employment
  • Position/Title  
  • Duties/Responsibilities
  • Salary and Reason for Leaving

 

Travel Profile

Your travelling experience can differentiate you against other applicants. If you have travelled extensively, list the continents with a list of the countries that you have visited with a brief synopsis i.e. North America –2007 - 4 months spent travelling the East Coast.

Education & Qualifications 

  • Further Education Establishments and/or Secondary School and Dates
  • Qualifications and Grades
  • Trade Qualifications

Skills

  • Training Courses and Skills
  • Other skills such as driving licence, typing speeds and so on

 Ensure date order, where possible starting with highest qualification first and working back.

Hobbies and Interests

Try to be relevant, don’t mention anything that may cause the hiring manager to see you in a non professional light i.e. “I am an avid Harry Potter fan and have all the toys plus attend all conventions”.


Letters of Application/ Email summary

It is useful to create a short summary about why you are suitable for the job you are applying for. This information can be written as a formal letter or it can be in the form of an email with your CV attached.

Carefully read the advertisement and then research the company’s website to make your summary relevant. It increases your chances of your CV being read and winning an interview.

If you are writing a formal letter, make sure your letter is well constructed with a beginning, middle and ending. Don't forget that Dear Sir ends Yours Faithfully and Dear Mr Smith ends Yours Sincerely. Ensure you spell check everything!

Do you have a winning CV?

Speed-read your CV one last time and look for these key points: 

  • What stands out?
  • Were you drawn to the positive aspects of the CV?
  • Did the CV make you want to go back to the beginning and read it more thoroughly?
  • Was it easy to read?

Now give it to a friend and ask their opinion about what immediately catches their attention.

And Finally

Be realistic with the roles that you apply for! We receive numerous applications by candidates who do not meet the required criteria for a job. If you do have the skills required, make it clear on your CV otherwise it is just a waste of your time.

Do you have a winning CV?

Read your CV one last time (AFTER having someone else look at it in detail) and look for these key points:

  • What stands out?
  • Were you drawn to the positive aspects of the CV?
  • Did the CV make you want to go back to the beginning and read it more thoroughly?
  • Was it easy to read?
  • Now give it to a friend and ask their opinion about what immediately catches their attention.
  • Capital letters, bold and underlined words shout out to the reader. Use of these should be used only to highlight your strengths. Check to see you haven't highlighted negative areas.
  • Make sure you have spell-checked the CV and that it is grammatically correct.
  • Check that the overall appearance of the CV is tidy and looks professional.
  • Letters of Application/ Email summary

It is useful to create a short summary about why you are suitable for the job you are applying for. This information can be written as a formal letter or it can be in the form of an email with your CV attached. Carefully read the advertisement and then research the company’s website to make your summary relevant. It increases your chances of your CV being read and winning an interview.

If you are writing a formal letter, make sure your letter is well constructed with a beginning, middle and ending. Don't forget that Dear Sir ends Yours Faithfully and Dear Mr Smith ends Yours Sincerely.

Ensure you spell check everything!

Best of Luck

 

Jose joined New Frontiers in 2000 working a variety of roles from recruitment consultant to in-house recruiter and staff trainer and now General Manager. Jose has a wealth of travel industry experience having worked in travel for 8 years prior to joining New Frontiers with roles in retail and for a tour operator.