CV Presentation

How to write and present a good CVGet the presentation of your CV spot-on and you’re already well on your way to winning the work race. First impressions speak volumes to prospective employers and you want to win then over from the word go. Make your CV immaculate and polish up your paid work prospects.

Mirrors, handbrake, manoeuvre…

If you want to be a serious contender in the race for jobs, a good CV should always start with the basics. In the UK, employers are usually content with your name, address, telephone number and email information. Employers abroad might, however, require a little more in-depth detail and you might have to put your foot on the pedal and crank your CV up a notch. If you join an established job program then they can give you all the top tips on getting your CV country-ready, as well as opening a lot of doors for you. It’s like getting a mechanic to do the hard work for you; safer, faster and crucial for peace of mind.

Give the right signals…

When preparing your CV, make sure you include your nationality, so employers know where you’re coming from. Although it’s no longer compulsory to include your age in the UK, due to age discrimination laws, it may make sense to include your date of birth. For example, if you are heading to a destination that requires you to have a working holiday visa, which are only available for 18-30 year olds, age will be a very relevant part of your application. Attention to detail is the key if you want to drive your job search forward.

Find your biting point…

Layout and length may seem like basic considerations, but that first CV impression can make all the difference between life in the fast lane and stalling before you’ve even got going. It goes without saying that your CV should be neat, easy to read, spell checked and look clean and sharp; you should use subheadings in bold type, and keep the layout simple. You will need to get your CV typed up, and for most overseas applications you will be sending it as an email attachment – countries such as Australia often use email applications as standard.

Under instruction…

If you have your own website, or online work profile, this can be an added bonus to boost your chances and turbo-charge you into the world of work. There are some amazing job search programs available through reputable gap year companies that can help with all aspects of your CV, as well as preparing you for interviews, setting up job opportunities and taking away all the hassles of job hunting. They can help you glide effortlessly into the overseas job market, not lurch haltingly on an uphill struggle.

Buff and polish…

Your CV should look like the clean lines of a sleek sports car and you shouldn’t let your resume resemble a rusty old write-off. It should be written in a professional style, using formal language, and it should always be written in the third person, not using ‘I’ or coming across as too chatty. Your CV could open with a personal statement, summing up your skills and experience. It’s a good tip to use key ‘power’ words to sell your skills, such as ‘competent’ or ‘adaptable’, and stress your strengths by using words such as ‘managing’ or ‘training’, emphasizing your marketable talents.

You might also want to slip in your reasons for wanting to work abroad into a personal statement, discussing what you feel you might gain and why that particular employer, country and job appeals to you. Always tailor your CV to suit the job, and be prepared to have a template and adapt it regularly. Even if you have a few false starts, with practice, your job search should soon be purring along nicely.

Pimp your ride…

Don’t be content with the basic model, give your CV some extra bling with some shiny spoilers, a few flashing lights and the odd leopard-print seat cover. You should always list your work experience with your most recent employment first. As overseas employers may not be familiar with UK companies, it is a good idea to clarify the nature of each business and their field of expertise.

Don’t leave any gaps in your employment history, and make sure you list any extra qualifications you might have, such as safety training, first aid certificates, food hygiene etc, as well as any voluntary work or hobbies that show off your sensational skill set. Next, include your education from secondary school upwards, but again, give clear UK locations so that there is no confusion. Add in anything that gives your CV that extra gleaming finish so that it’ll be the envy of all the others on the road to work abroad.

Get roadworthy…

If you want to pass your job market MOT, you’re going to need proof that you’re resume-roadworthy. As in the UK, you will need a couple of strong references, preferably from your most recent employer, or someone who has known you for a long time and is a responsible, professional adult. A teacher from your previous school is also a good option as they will be able to comment on your strengths. Make sure your referees can be contacted via email, so employers abroad can get a speedy response and you’ll pass with flying colours!