How to write a CV

A CV is your opportunity to create a great first impression, it allows you to personally advertise your skills and attributes to a prospective employer. Provide up to date contact details, email and mobile phone and evening number, and ensure you have a professional email address and voicemail message recording. When listing your previous work experience, always list your most recent role first. It is the most relevant and therefore should be the most detailed. Highlight key achievements and link your job function to relevant successes you’ve had within the role.

Keep your information relevant to the job you are applying for. Explain away employment gaps – raising a family/ looking after parents, travelling etc. It is not necessary to justify your reasons for leaving each role, these can be discussed at interview.

Education – give only brief details of your education up to age 18, the number of GSCEs is sufficient perhaps saying including English and Maths (if it is true.) Give fuller details of higher education -diplomas, certificates and degree. Include the university attended and the class of degree. Always detail your professional qualifications when achieved and from where.

Make sure that there are no spelling, grammatical or formatting errors – get as many people as you can find to proof-read your CV. Layout and design should be legible, easy to follow, and logical.

Training courses should be detailed if they have given you a skill which is relevant to the role, or if they are still in date, or would only need a refresher course to gain full certification. All residential/substantial courses should be listed.

Personal interests/activities are only useful if they add to your skill set, e.g. School governor or voluntary work.

It is standard regarding references to write ‘available upon request’.

Don’t forget to include a covering letter. Personalise and tailor this to respond to the criteria within the ad.

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