Now that you have a framework for your CV, it's important to present yourself in the best light to prospective employers. Include the following essentials to make the best impression:
There is no requirement to title your CV with ‘Curriculum Vitae’ - having your name as the title is much better as it becomes an instant differentiator.
Including your contact details (e-mail address and mobile number) just under your name is also advisable.
Executive summary or profile
Include a short, concise profile including your personal strengths and attributes. This is a great opportunity to sell yourself.
Positions should be listed in reverse chronological order. Your most recent employment (depending on length of service) should be given the most exposure and this is progressively reduced for previous employers. The career history should include:
Dates of Employment
Nature of Business
Role and Responsibilities
Dates of employment
Ensure you do not leave any gaps in your career history; these often raise suspicion and question your credibility.
Be specific about any company names; avoid abbreviating names - unless this is part of that particular company's branding.
Nature of business
Include a high-level snapshot of the nature of business of your current and previous employers. This is a particularly good idea if your employer brands are not instantly recognisable.
Be specific about the position held; avoid abbreviating titles or unnecessarily expanding them.
Roles and responsibilities
This should be an honest summary of your experience. Avoid regurgitating your role job description. Personalise it to what you actually did and achieved. Use this area as your prime selling space for your skills and capabilities.
It is always a good idea to incorporate your key achievements in each role in bullet point format. Be specific. Where possible, use facts and figures to illustrate your points. Stating that you ‘cut requisition costs by 15%, saving the company £35,000 for the fiscal year is far more effective than simply stating ‘improved efficiency’, or, ‘increased lease penetration from x% to y%, generating £z additional lease volume’ is preferred to ‘increased leasing business’.
Education, professional qualifications and training
Keep this section concise. It is not always necessary or relevant to list all the schools attended, exams taken and grades achieved. A summary of these and any training or other qualifications listed in reverse chronological order will suffice. Remember, that you are increasingly likely to be asked for proof of any claims made as part of the reference checking process.
Detail any language skills you have and your respective competency level. The asset finance and leasing workplace is a diverse environment, and any language abilities you have will serve you well.
IT skills and knowledge is a prerequisite for any role nowadays. Use this space to provide information on your level of expertise but keep it concise, especially if IT is not a core requirement of the job.
Interests, activities and personal
Use this space to personalise your CV by including interests and activities outside of work. Ensure you keep this section brief and genuine. A long list of interests may give the impression of potential conflicts with work. At this initial stage, your personal details should be kept very brief. Be sure to include your full address and contact details, marital status and whether you hold a driver’s licence.