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CV Writing

What is a CV?

CV stands for Curriculum Vitae which is Latin for “course of life”.

How long should a CV be?

A CV should be no longer than two sides of A4. It needs to be concise, clear and grab the employers attention even if they just scan it.

Information to include on a CV

Contact details – You need to include your full name, home address, main contact telephone number and email address.

Personal Profile – This is a short paragraph at the beginning of your CV which highlights your key attributes. You want to highlight the key skills, qualities and experience you can offer to an employer and what you’re looking for (career aims). Try and keep this sector specific and snappy.

Education – You will need to include all of your education with dates including relevant qualification grades. You will need to include your most relevant education and qualifications first, listing them in reverse chronological order.

Work experience – You need to list all of your relevant work experience including any voluntary roles. List your most recent first and the following in reverse chronological order. You will need to include the job title, name of the organisation, time in post and key responsibilities. If you have a large amount of relevant work experience this section can come before education.

Skills and achievements – This is where you demonstratehow your previous experience has given you relevant skills that would make you a suitable candidate. State all of your relevant skills and achievements, making sure to back them up with examples. State how you would apply these skills to the new role. Don’t lie about your skills or experience as you will need to back them up or provide evidence at the interview stage.

Hobbies and Interests – Providing relevant hobbies and interests can help the reader get an idea of who you are, back up your skills, help you stand out from the crowd and give you something to talk about at the interview. Avoid putting things like “socialising” and “being with friends” as these will put readers of as they add no value.

References – On a CV you don’t need to include contact names or details. You can put “references available on request”.

CV Top Tips

Keep the layout simple and easy to read – Use clear font, headings and bullet points. Ensure the font style and size are consistent throughout.

Proof read – A CV is the first impression an employer will get of you. Spelling mistakes or grammatical errors do not give a good impression and will look unprofessional.

Presentation – Always make sure your CV is clean, neat, crisp and unfolded. You want to make the best first impression.