Thank you for your CV - we’d like to invite you for an interview!
Writing a CV is not easy, especially if you’re not used to selling yourself. With just one opportunity to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and experience for the role you’re applying for, it’s vital to spend time creating a concise, tailored and well-presented CV that stands out from the crowd.
We’ve spoken to PHASTAR's talent acquisition team to get their advice on how to create a CV that maximises your chance of receiving the response: “Thank you for your CV – we’d like to invite you for an interview”!
- Full name: not initials.
- Contact details: include email AND phone number.
- Location: provide at least your town and postcode so that the recruiter knows where you are based.
- LinkedIn profile: if you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it matches your CV i.e. location, work history and education - the recruiter will check!
A profile / career summary is not essential, but if you do decide to include one, ensure it’s tailored to the position you’re applying for. Provide 3-4 short sentences summarising your experience and the specific skills and strengths you have that match the role you’re applying for.
Education & Qualifications
- Put education at the top of your CV: if the role you’re applying for requires a specific qualification or level of educational background, put this section first. However, if your experience outweighs your educational background, put your qualifications after your work experience.
- Provide the qualification name, grade and year completed: e.g. BSc Biostatistics, 2:1 (2012).
- List employment history in chronological order: put your most recent position at the top.
- Write dates in MM/YYYY format: you do not need to state the exact date you started and left!
- Explain gaps in employment: continue to write the MM/YYYY and state the reason for not working (e.g. travelling, family commitments, studying).
- Use the correct tense: use the present tense for your current position and the past tense for previous roles
- Don’t use "I" or "My": instead of writing "I managed a team / my responsibilities were" write "managed a team / responsible for".
- Quantify your experience: instead of writing "managed a team" write "managed a team of five programmers".
- Highlight contract roles: this will explain why those positions were short in length. If your roles have been permanent and you’ve changed companies frequently, consider providing the reason as to why you left each position e.g. (reason for leaving: career progression, relocated, redundancy).
- Provide examples rather than clichés: rather than putting "worked as part of a team" provide details of your exact contribution and responsibilities within the team.
Technical Skills / Key Skills
- Technical skills: e.g. BASE SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/GRAPH, CDISC SDTM and ADaM, IT systems, programming languages, office tools, web tools.
- Key Skills: e.g. therapeutic experience, phases of clinical trials, project management, line management.
- Consider highlighting skills to make them stand out: e.g. Expertise in writing SDTM and ADaM specifications.
- Include additional information such as
- Awards won
- Language skills (native, fluent, basic)
- Work visa: specify which visa you have or whether you require sponsorship
- Position you are seeking: permanent, contract, full or part-time
- Hobbies / interests
Things to Remember
- Minimise the no. pages: - be concise. Don’t include pages of repetitive responsibilities. List only the key responsibilities and achievements for each role. If you are struggling for space, list your publications on a separate document and leave off hobbies / interests.
- Make the CV format consistent: e.g. if you use bold for a company name, put all company names in bold.
- Use bullet points: short, concise statements rather than paragraphs make your CV easier to read.
- Don’t write in the third person: never use he / she when referring to yourself.
- Don’t copy and paste your job description: it’s always obvious to a recruiter when a candidate has simply pasted their job description into their CV. Instead, focus on including only your key responsibilities and achievements for each role.
- Keep your CV updated: if you have sent your CV to the company so that it can be kept on file, make sure you send an updated version if you change in your location, contact details, skills, experience, availability or visa status. You never know - one or more of these changes may mean that you can now be considered for a role!
- Sell yourself: Differentiate your CV from the competition by including specific examples, figures, percentages, achievements and awards.