Where do you start when writing your CV? This is a question we get asked frequently, and we know it can be a stressful situation, so we have put together this handy guide to help you through the process and get you started, hopefully stress-free.
You may already have a CV from previously job hunting, however the first step, and possibly most important, is to make sure it is up to date. Although we would recommend tailoring your CV for each role you apply for, you need to make sure you have the basics covered.
What information needs to be included on my CV?
Name, Email, phone number and address. This may seem obvious, but if you are updating an old CV it is important to double check and make sure these details are up to date. There is no point applying for a job if the employer can’t contact you! We would recommend putting this at the top of your CV.
Key Skills or Personal Statement
This should be a brief paragraph to help you stand out from the crowd. It explains who you are, what you can offer, and aims to prove why you’re suitable.
This section should include all of your work experience, listed with the most recent first. Always include your job title, the name of the organisation, dates of employment and your key responsibilities.
This can be included in a separate section or you could combine with Work Experience if the achievement was gained during employment. List any of your relevant achievements and make it clear how this is useful to the new role.
Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, qualification and/or grade you achieved. Again it is worth thinking about the role you are applying for to determine how much detail to give.
Hobbies and Interests
You don’t need to include hobbies and interests in your CV, but mentioning relevant ones could back up your skills and help you to stand out. This could also give you something to talk about at an interview. However, if it’s not going to add value, leave it out.
Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history should also be included as required.
How to present your CV?
Remember your CV is the first thing an employer will see and will help determine whether you are suitable for the vacancy.
- Choose a clear font to ensure that your CV can be easily read, and ideally keep to 2-3 pages.
- We would recommend ordering your experience and education in reverse chronological order to highlight your most recent experience.
- Ensure you leave sufficient spacing and use clear section headings (e.g. Work Experience, Education) to ensure it is easy to follow.
- Once completed ensure you run a spell and grammar check, and read through a final time to ensure the information is relevant.
It may sound obvious but ensure you have thoroughly read the job description of the role you are applying for, this will help you highlight specific skills and experience from your CV.
Think about relevant accomplishments and achievements, any qualifications you have within the field, and personal qualities that make you right for this role. If you can back up your experience and attributes with genuine accomplishments, this will help you stand out from the crowd and prove your suitability more effectively.
If you need any further help or assistance with writing your CV please do not hesitate to contact Hollie or Kirsty.