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CV Writing

First impressions count and your Curriculum Vitae is your first opportunity to impress an employer.  A well-constructed CV should highlight your skillset and experience, as well as communicating any key achievements and attributes.

The following tips should help ensure that you present a professional document and maximise your chances of getting the opportunity to attend an interview.


Presentation

  • Your CV should ideally be no more than 2-3 pages long.
  • The font type and size should be easy to read and consistent throughout the document.
  • Type all job titles in a bold to make them stand out.
  • Put all information on jobs and education in reverse chronological order as the most recent information is the most relevant. 
  • Include the month/ year of employment for each individual job and ensure the dates run sequentially.  Explain any career gaps.
  • Make sure the overall presentation looks neat and tidy and align paragraphs and margins.
  • When you have finished ensure you check the spelling and punctuation and if possible ask a friend or family member to proof read for you.


Key Information to include

  • A personal statement or list of key professional attributes is a good way of highlighting your key skills.
  • Make sure your specific duties are covered in all roles.
  • A career objective can be useful that highlights exactly the type of role that you are looking for.
  • Wherever possible include quantifiable facts and figures – particularly when highlighting your key achievements.
  • A summary of your education and membership of any relevant professional associations.


Information to exclude

  • Salary – a figure could be too low or too high and you could get ruled out – negotiable is adequate if you must put a salary down.
  • Reasons for leaving a job – if this information is required it can be discussed at interview stage.
  • Referees details or references and testimonials can be passed across at a later stage in the process and dont need to be on the CV.
  • Photographs – there is no reason why you need to include a photograph unless it is specifically requested.
  • Any personal information relating to your age, religion, race or sexual orientation.


Going the extra mile

  • Ensure that your CV is achievements orientated and highlights all your key successes.
  • Include keywords to allow your CV to be found on job boards and by recruiters more easily.
  • Transferable skills are just as important as key achievements so include things like communication skills and management ability.
  • Tailor your CV for each individual application so you can ensure that the most relevant experience and skills are highlighted.