Careers Advice

CV – The Essential Collection

Pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels all stake their reputations on the service they provide for their customers. Employers are looking for people who can add value to their business through exceptional service and commitment. You’ll be expected to meet and greet a variety of customers and be comfortable dealing with all sorts of novel situations. Taking the time to write your CV carefully will go a long way to prove that you are the right person for that job.

Do Don’t
Adapt your CV for each application you make; a generic, catch all CV will not cut it and will be spotted a mile off. Match your CV to the job description in front of you. Give employers the right first impression about how much effort you are willing to put in to everything you do. Make simple spelling and grammar mistakes. See our article ‘Unforgiveable Grammar Crimes’ and check your CV. Then get someone else who has great English skills to check it again! A tidy, mistake-free CV shows you’re professional, thorough and care about how you come across.
Are your contact details up to date and correct? You want that employer to be able to get in touch with you once you wow them with your perfectly written CV. List your duties but instead focus on your achievements. Describe what you did and what the positive outcome was rather than regurgitate your to-do list.
Concentrate on what you have got to offer, remembering to refer back to the advert or job description. You can talk about personal attributes here too; particularly if you have little or no relevant experience yet. Skills can be trained in but punctuality, great communication and honesty are the bedrocks of a great employee. If you have done voluntary work or been involved in community projects don’t forget to talk about those all-important transferable skills you have learned. Include irrelevant details. Stick to the job description and advert; share skills that your potential employer is interested in to make sure they get to the end of your CV not fall asleep reading it or worse, get bored and put it on the reject pile.
Talk about your skills and how they fit in with the employer’s requirements. If you have received recognition or awards for your work tell them about it. If you have relevant statistics of figures showing your achievements share them in a section all about your skills. This can be a simple bullet pointed list - remember an uncluttered CV is way more attractive to read. Forget key words - it might surprise you that the first person to read your CV might not be a person but a piece of software. These programs look for specific words and phrases that relate to the job advert. Look at similar job descriptions to get a feel for the buzz words and make sure they are in your CV. Make sure your digital CVs is in a simple format and font so readability is not affected on different screens.
Include your education but also make sure you tell them about any training you have undertaken like food hygiene, health and safety, or first aid. These could be the things that set your CV apart from the rest. Be vague or clichéd “I’m an experienced and successful barman” or “I’m all about the team”. These clichés do not help the recruiter understand you and your achievements. Instead provide specific details e.g. I led a team of 5 bar staff and was responsible for cashing up and closing the bar in the manager’s absence.
Pick referees who have knowledge of your skills and can sell you to a potential employer. Make sure your referees are aware you've given their details and make sure you tell them as much as possible on the job you are applying for. Perhaps even send them a copy of the job description. Include so much information that your CV looks cluttered. Avoid long paragraphs with very little white space. Bullet pointed lists and short sentences make your CV easier to read and easier for recruiters to scan for key points. The rule of thumb is that a CV should be no more than 2 pages long.
Talk about why you love the industry and write in a way that conveys your enthusiasm. Lie. Sounds simple but you will get found out eventually. So just don’t.

Paying attention to the above lists and taking your time to write your CV is crucial in getting that important first interview. You don’t know how many other CVs are going to be read by employers trying to find that perfect employee, so take the time to make yours the one that stands out from the crowd.