As administrator for Atwood Tate I am the one responsible for going through 70-90 CV’s a week and determining which Consultant to send a CV to. I am also the one who determines whether or not we can help a candidate, at first glance.
Since Atwood Tate is a specialist Publishing Recruitment Company it is imperative that there a candidate has some sort of publishing experience, or a relevant skill to be used within publishing, in order for us to consider them as an applicant.
So for my first bit of advice:
- Add all publishing experience: be it a one week work placement or a freelance marketing job! Write it down
Blogging, writing your own stories and working as a reviewer for an online magazine are not quite what we mean. But if you’ve worked with editors or a marketing department to promote your blog or reviews then add it! It makes you just that little more qualified.
That piece of advice is tailored to our company being a Publishing Recruitment specialist; the advice below is much more universal.
- Stick to two or three pages MAX: Be as concise as possible. We do not need a page of publications or a list of quotes from your references. We need your work experience (including dates!), education, personal details and skills.
- Use Bullet Points: From experience trying to piece together a person’s ability from a long spiel in a paragraph is a lot harder than reading their skills listed in bullet points.
- Employment History: This should always be written in reverse chronological order, with your most recent or current job at the top. It makes it easier for us to see what kinds of roles you are looking to move into and your current skill-set. Add bullet points underneath of your most relevant tasks – if you have done similar roles in the past pick the most interesting/important achievements in each role rather than list the same skills repetitiously.
- Education: This should also be written in reverse chronological order. We rarely need to know you’re modules or tutors, we simply need your degrees/qualifications and grades.
- Further Skills: A useful addition to any CV is a bullet point list or paragraph of additional skills, which may not have been listed in your employment history. For example: IT skills (whether you’re Mac or PC literate) MS Office, a language etc
- Write in the Third person: Ellie finds that CVs in the third person are much more professional
- Typos: This is a cardinal sin on all CVs, but particularly on CVs that are about to enter the publishing world. Publishing is all about the written word, whether you’re applying for IT roles or Marketing. You cannot have typos in your CV.
- Update it regularly! A CV should be updated every time it is sent out, even if you have been in the same job for ten years. Update your skills, personal details, preferences etc. Edit it for the role(s) you’re applying for.