cv and resume advice

This advice is not exhaustive and we will revisit this page to add more tips. While we cannot address specific queries on a one to one basis, we are happy to receive emails for tips and we will put these in our next update.

What is  the difference between a CV and a resumé?

Nothing, except CV (curriculum vitae) is used more in Europe, Resumé is used more frequently in the States. Really they are interchangeable.

What is the best way to make my CV?

We recommend putting your CV together using a basic word processing software like Word, Works, Open Office – anything that can save your document as a .doc .docx .rtf or text based (as opposed to image based) .pdf

Keep the font selection simple and think about choosing what is known as a “System Font” aka “Web Safe Fonts”. These are fonts which are the same on both PC and Mac platforms so once emailed your document should retain most of your formatting i.e. Arial, Verdana, Trebuchet, Times New Roman. We strongly advise you do not use decorative fonts on your CV ie Comic Sans, Curlz etc.

It is our advice to keep the background plain, do not include jazzy borders, images of your work or put the text within tables, ornate borders and bullets everywhere. You may think that a CV is your opportunity to show what a creative individual you are, but it is our experience the higher up a candidate is in the industry, the more simple and clean a CV will look. The creativity goes in your portfolio.

Why submit a CV in .doc .txt .rtf or text based .pdf?

There are two reasons, both as important to us as each other. Firstly, our database software parses the information from these files allowing us to register you very quickly. Secondly, before we send your CV to any client it is edited into a standard format, on our company letterhead. If the original document is easy to process it makes the submission of your CV that much quicker.

Should I include my photograph on my CV?

In countries like France, it is common practice to do so. If you are applying directly to companies in France consider adding a picture. The kind of picture required is one of you in a professional environment of your head and shoulders. It should not be a passport picture or a crop from a larger image at a party. In the UK, a photograph is not required for your CV. Regardless as to whether a CV was sent to us with a picture or if our client is in France or not we do not include any candidate photos on the CV’s we send.

How should I layout my CV?

You can download our Word .doc basic template. Reading further you will see there are many different pieces of information you can add to it. However for a starter CV, our template is a good place to start. The following two files are best downloaded together.

Basic template in .doc format for editing

Basic template as .pdf for layout reference

Sorry for the small print: while every step is taken to ensure the file’s security, we cannot take responsibility for any unlikely damage to your computer they may cause in the process of being downloaded or one downloaded onto your machine.

What is the most common mistake people make on their CV?

Don’t write on your CV you have an excellent eye for detail if there are spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and formatting problems. Particularly Non-Design candidates your accuracy is critical to your role and your CV is an example of the kind of document you can produce. Don’t let it work against you.
Get your friend to read it over for you, print it out and read it aloud and if you are up late at night working on it, don’t send it off then. Sleep on it, read it over again and send it in the morning.

Will I get away with white lies on my CV?

Don’t get caught up trying to embellish your CV particularly if the rest of your experience is great! You may think it is no big deal but it would be so embarrassing for you if we met your former colleague whose work you claimed was yours. We would also be obliged to tell any client we had sent your CV on to.

Keep your work experience relevant

Particularly younger candidates – it is not necessary to put every job you have ever had in great detail. You only need to include the positions that are relevant to your career goal. If you need to list a position unrelated because you want to explain a time out you only need to list:

DATE – DATE      COS, London      Part Time Sales Associate

If you have been taking time out to take care of family members candidates ask how to explain this best. Keep the explanations as straightforward as possible. You don’t need to give full medical history for example:

DATE – DATE      Home carer for family member     (Elective resignation from previous employment)

Those who have been lucky enough to take a time out for travel include a little more information and highlight some of the skills and experiences. For example:

DATE – DATE      Backpacking through China and South East Asia.     Experiencing camping and hostel life in this region, absorbing local culture and eating with locals and practicing basic Mandarin and Cantonese. Particular interests on this trip were local textile markets and architectural detailing.

A few lines about the trip keeping them focused to life skills and work related matters speaks volumes about who you are, your natural abilities and the things that interest you.

Finally those who have been made redundant, even though you are busy looking for more work, it is a time to review your portfolio, work on a new project for your portfolio, update your website, work on your LinkedIn networking or even pick up a short course for a new language.

Should I include my interests on my CV?

More often than not, everyone writes the same thing. Therefore they end up meaning very little on your CV and we would recommend removing them all together. However, if your interests relate to your field of work we would revise that statement to say keep it on. For example avid cyclist looking to work for a bike company, former yoga instructor designing for an active wear brand – your passions would be very interesting to a prospective employer.

Skills, Awards, Further Education, Workshops, Exhibitions?

We recommend you include as many of these as possible so long as they are relevant to your area of work. If you have exhibited your creative textile work or personal collection of vintage denim extensively it would be great to include. If you have taken (or lead) Workshops in specific hand knitting techniques and it is relevant to your work, include it. Also important to note Driving Skills or First Aid qualifications.

What about press clippings or my bibliography?

If you have appeared in a number of books or magazines (hard copy or online), list them with date, title of the publication and name of article you appear in. Do not include pages of scans or screen shots. If someone is interested in looking these things up, they will.

What if I absolutely insist on including images in my CV?

Please don’t! We do not keep them on our database nor do we send them on to our clients. However we do enjoy seeing these things in your portfolio.

Why do different fashion recruitment agencies give different advice?

Firstly congratulations for using more than one fashion recruitment agency. Each fashion recruitment agency will have it’s own personality and it’s own clients. The advice we give you on your CV and portfolio may differ drastically to the information from another fashion recruitment agency because we are looking out for different things that our clients respond to or are interested in. Our job is always a delicate balance between nurturing talent and meeting the needs of our clients. Another fashion recruitment agency will have a different client base who will have different requirements. We encourage all candidates to register with more than one quality fashion recruitment agency to maximize your chances in the market for different roles. However it is important you do not allow two agencies to put you forward for the same job. The confusion caused by this for the client may cause you to be disqualified for a role.