Brain Food: Business Manners - Crafting your CV

Make the sale. You're advertising yourself to an employer and will be vying with the crowd for precious airtime. Use clarity to stand out with business-like white space and headings, not wacky fonts and boxes.

Keep it short. Your CV should fit on one or two sheets of A4, so write concisely and be shrewd about cutting fluff. The chairman of a bank will be too busy to care about your GCSE in woodwork.

Know your audience. If you're applying for a variety of jobs, don't send a generic CV - talk up the skills that pertain to the post. Summer jobs and university activities smack of desperation, unless you're a first jobber.

Don't lie. Fabricate your degree and you risk losing any job you might land - as happened to NHS executive Neil Taylor in August. But let employers infer shortcomings - don't help them by stating anything negative.

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