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How to write a CV

Writing a great CV can sometimes be a daunting task. Take a look at our top tips to help you get noticed.

It might be a great job, you might be well-qualified for it, but if the first opportunity you get to put yourself in front of a new employer is through your CV, it must do its job. That might be the only chance you get to make an impression.

Recruitment companies often offer help with writing or optimising CVs, but it helps if your basic CV is pretty much ready to go.

Basics

Keep your CV to no longer than two sides of A4 paper, not including your cover letter.

Use black type, between size 10 to 12 point, and in a common typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman.

Keep the layout simple and clear. Use headings, formatting – bold, italics, underlining and spacing – to make the information clear and easy to read.

Once the basics are done, always tweak and tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. Read the job description – research the employer, too – and select the experience and skills that are most relevant. Always include:

·      Your name and address

·      Phone number

·      Email address – a professional sounding one is best

 

Introduce yourself

Summarise yourself in a few sentences. You may mention some of your key strengths and attributes here, especially any that the role explicitly requires – expect to back these up in the main body of your CV, and to talk about them during an interview.

 

Work experience

Beginning with your most recent/current position and working backwards, list your previous jobs (including different roles at the same employer).

For each role, you should include:

·      Company or organisation’s name

·      Your title in that role

·      Length of employment (month and year)

·      Your key responsibilities

·      Highlight what you achieved or the impact you 'made in the role.

 

Education

Like work experience above, beginning with the most recent(or current) one, list your formal education history, going back to secondary school, including:

·      The name of the institution you studied at

·      When you studied there

·      The qualifications you achieved

 

Achievements, qualifications and skills

These can be further strengths that enhance your work or education history. This is especially important if they are relevant to the role advertised. Depending on the role, examples you might include could be:

·      Specialist training, e.g. health and safety

·      The ability to speak different languages

·      Experience of software or equipment

·      Awards or other achievements

·      Links to online portfolios or blogs

 

Hobbies and interests

Hobbies, passions and interests can be a great way to standout from the crowd (and act as a talking point in an interview).

 

References

Add “References available on request” to the end of your CV and provide their contact details later.

 

Hannah Hewitt
June 13, 2022
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