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What is a CV?
A CV is a short, written summary of your skills, achievements and experience.
You use it in the first stage of applying for jobs.
Employers often ask for a CV instead of an application form.
A CV, is your first chance to promote yourself to an employer.
A good CV will get you to an interview.
Use it to apply for advertised jobs, or to introduce yourself to employers you’d like to work for.
Contents of a CV
You’ll need to include:
your name at the top of your document – no need to add CV or curriculum vitae
your full address and
telephone or mobile number – give the number you’re most likely to be available on during the working day
email address – always use a professional sounding email address
Leave out details like your age, date of birth, marital status and nationality. These are not required.
If you have a profile on a professional social media site like LinkedIn, you can add a link to it on your CV.
This is a few short lines that sum up who you are and what you hope to do. Think about the job you want and what the employer is looking for. Make your profile sound like you’re the right person for the job.
Work experience history
Include work placements, volunteering and any paid jobs you’ve held. You’ll need to give details of:
the employer, with most recent first
the title of the job
the dates you worked
a brief outline of what you did – usually 2 to 3 lines
Use active words to highlight your strengths and skills for example, ‘organised’, ‘created’, ‘built’, ‘managed’ or ‘planned’.
Hobbies interests or achievements
Use examples that show you have skills that are relevant to the job. This section is useful if you do not have much work experience.
You can leave out the details of your references at this point. The recruiter will ask for these when you get through to the next stage.
CV Writing Tips
Employers get lots of CVs to look at and have to decide quickly who they are going to interview. Here are some tips to make your CV stand out for all the right reasons.
When writing your CV remember:
research the company and the job before you start
word-process your CV and use clear lettering like Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri, size 11 or bigger – always use the same style throughout
use headings, bullet points and spacing to break information up to make it easier to read
keep it to 2 sides of A4
be clear and to the point
match the words you use to the keywords in the job description or advert
get someone else to read it to double check your spelling and grammar
save a copy, including a final pdf version for emailing
always send your CV with a cover letter