How to write the perfect CV

Your work experience and qualifications might be similar to your competitors in the job market, but a well-written CV can make you stand out from the crowd.

As jobseekers know, today's employment market is a competitive environment where only those who show initiative and make themselves stand out from the crowd will prevail.

Making a great impression at an interview is key to securing any job and having great references is another fantastic way to prove you are the ideal candidate for the role, but those searching for hotel vacancies, chef jobs in London or any other job will stand no chance if they fail to have their CV noticed.

Get the simple things right

It may seem simple, but CVs should all follow a basic format and include certain pieces of information.

First off, the days of hand-written CVs are long gone. A resume written in calligraphy or crayon may seem interesting and catch the eye for a second or two, but they are hardly likely to land you a professional role.

Carefully type up the document and consider it your first means of selling yourself to prospective employers.

Don't forget to include your:

·         name

·         address

·         contact number and email address

·         employment history starting from the most recent position and including details of responsibilities

·         professional and academic qualifications

·         a list of your relevant skills

·         your interests – especially if they build skills related to the desired job role

·         references – at least two are now usually expected

Should you include a personal statement?

Including a personal statement or stating your aims in a covering letter can be a great idea. Be careful not to ramble on though. Keep it concise and to the point, including only relevant information such as why you wish to work for the firm, when you are available from and why you are perfect for the job.

If you have gaps in your career history or have anything else you wish to add, here is the place to do it.

What about criminal records or driving convictions?

If you have any criminal convictions or driving convictions it is important not to cover them up. They might not stop you getting the job – everyone is allowed to make mistakes – but if you hide them and an employer finds out about them later then it could be an embarrassing and costly situation that might see you searching for permanent or temporary work all over again.

Get someone to check it over

Get a highly literate friend or professional to have a look at your CV. Even if you are a skilled wordsmith and have read it over numerous times yourself, typos and spelling mistakes can slip through the net. While some employers do not pay much heed to grammar or spelling, others are sticklers for it and could immediately discount your chances if your CV is riddled with errors.

A fresh pair of eyes could pick up on any little mistakes and they might also offer a new perspective on what should and should not be included in the document.

Date of birth – should you include it?

The DirectGov website states that it is no longer necessary to include your date of birth on a CV or application form as laws on age discrimination mean an employer cannot use age to evaluate a candidate's suitability for the job.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you with hospitality careers