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How to perfect your CV ahead of job interviews

A concise, well-structured and informative CV is absolutely crucial for ensuring you make it through to the interview stage of a recruitment process. Most employers make decisions about CVs in a matter of seconds and it takes just a few errors or a lack of information for yours to end up in the wrong pile. So, how do you perfect your CV ahead of job interviews to ensure that you make it through to a face-to-face?

Be concise

Your CV has roughly eight seconds to work its magic on the person viewing it, so a lengthy tome is going to be almost useless. In terms of your career, focus on the best bits and the headlines, ensuring that everything is relevant to the role you’re applying for – you don’t need to tell your entire career history.

Say why you’re the best person for the job

You may think that the skills and experience in your CV make it clear why you’re the best person for the job but a potential employer may not make the same links. A personal statement is a short, direct paragraph that sets out exactly why you are the ideal candidate, making the connection in case the employer hasn’t.

Make sure your CV is up to date

You’re wasting a huge opportunity if your CV doesn’t have all your most recent experience on. Employers tend to be suspicious if all the experience listed is old and out of date so take the time to keep your CV up to date. You’ll also need to explain any gaps in your career timeline – find a positive way to illustrate time spent on something that wasn’t work and why this has been valuable to your development and growth in the long run.

Never lie

Yes you should always use your CV to reflect the best possible version of everything you’ve achieved. However, embellishing or lying about what you’ve done and what you’re capable of just means you’re likely to get caught out at interview or when your references are checked.

Don’t be that person…

… who ends up in the “no” pile simply because they didn’t check the spelling. Employers will always be put off by spelling and grammar errors so it’s just not worth letting such unnecessary mistakes slip through the net.

If your CV is online, include keywords

If your CV contains keywords that are relevant to the sector you work in and the role that you’re looking for then you’re much more likely to get employers coming to you.

Make your CV stand out

There are a number of ways you can do this, including identifying any statistics, figures or other ways of quantifying what you’ve achieved to give your CV more credibility. Remember that the CV needs to look good and flow easily so pay attention to paragraphing, use bullet points and apply a little bit of graphic design so the end result is professional and easy to understand.

Your CV is the key to the door of the interview room so don’t neglect it. With a great CV you’ll be able to increase the opportunities that are available to you and find that dream role. Take a look at our Half Day Masterclass in Brushing up your CV Writing and Interview Skills for more tips.

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.