CV help

Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is an essential tool for selling your skills to a prospective employer. You need to make sure that your skills, experience and personality shine through. This is important to get you through to the interview stage as it contains information which helps us to match you to jobs.

You need to make sure that you update your CV regularly as you change employers, job roles and undergo training. You should also consider amending it to suit each job you apply for to make it as relevant as possible.

Remember, the person reading your CV will be looking for answers to two basic questions:

  • Does this person have the skills to do the job?
  • Will they suit our company?

The more you can demonstrate you’re the right person for the job, the better chance you have of being successful.

How to start
Your CV should start with your personal details, including your name, address, age, telephone number and email address (if you have one).
Personal statement
Your personal statement is a short paragraph that describes what you have to offer a potential employer in terms of personal skills, attributes and experience. This is your opportunity to shine and expand on anything relevant that you talk about in the rest of your CV. Remember to make it relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Your jobs
The next step is to outline your career to date, starting with your most recent work experience. Each job should start on a new line, and should show the job title, start and finish dates, the company name and a brief description of what the company does and your job duties there. If you received a promotion at any time, treat it as a separate position. Make sure you list relevant responsibilities, achievements, duties and skills that you used and learned in that job. If you’ve had a lot of jobs or a long career, you might want to summarise this with headings as ‘Previous Employers’ or ‘Earlier Career’. Don’t forget to explain any significant career gaps. Even if you’re not working, you may have picked up valuable skills from other pursuits in your personal life.
Training and qualifications
Finally, end with your educational achievements and training courses you have attended. If you have any professional or academic qualifications, this is where you need to list them. And make sure to include skills such as languages, IT and vocational training.
Read what you’ve written

Make sure you read through and check your CV before sending it off to potential employers – it’s really important that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Remember, this is the first contact an employer has with you and first impressions count. Perhaps ask a friend or family member to read through your CV to double-check it for any errors you might have missed.

A few tips
  • Keep your CV short – it should be no more than two sides of A4 paper
  • Avoid long sentences, use bullet points instead
  • Don’t use lots of different font styles, as it can make your CV look messy
  • When it comes to font size, you should use 10-12 point for the main text, and no more than 16 point for headings  – don’t shrink the font size to fit more in, re-read what you’ve written and see if you can reduce it instead