Personal and contact information
Education and qualifications
Experience and employment history
Relevant skills to the position applied for
The first part of your CV, positioned at the top of the page, should contain your name, professional title and contact details. Create a professional email address if you don’t have one already, you don’t want to have a potentially embarrassing email address from when you were 13 on your CV as this is the first thing people will notice! Be sure to include your contact number(s), this is a common mistake that people leave out which can slow down the recruitment process. It’s also important to include your town and county, if you are looking to relocate make sure this is detailed when applying for roles outside of your area.
A successful CV should be carefully and clearly presented, keep it concise and only include necessary information. You don’t need pages and pages of paper – just try to keep things short and sweet, a maximum of 2 A4 pages should be plenty. Employers receive dozens of CVs all the time and most will make a judgement within a number of seconds, so keep yours eye catching and to the point, this will make them want to read more!
Your employment history section is the most important part, giving you a chance to outline your previous jobs and work experience. Here are some tips on what to and what not to include on this section:
List your experience in reverse chronological order – your most recent role should be where you start as this is the most relevant to the employer.
For each position, include your job title, employer name and the length of service.
Instead of writing long paragraphs to discuss your key responsibilities, use bullet points to keep this clear and informative.
If you have many years’ worth of experience, you can reduce the detail of old irrelevant roles to ensure your CV is as relevant as possible to the role you are applying to.
When discussing your education and qualifications, you will want to maintain the same format as your experience and employment history. Include the name of the school, college, or university along with the dates attended. It’s up to you whether you want to include your achieved grades, but keep in mind the role you’re applying for and how relevant they are.
For skills, it’s best to list them. Keep this section clear, simple and don’t forget to mention any skills which could help you stand out from the crowd! These could include communication skills; computer skills; team working; problem solving or even speaking a foreign language.
There are a range of different sections that may strengthen your CV. If you feel that your CV is lacking personality, include a hobby and interests’ section. This can help to show how well you fit into the company or the industry. For example, if you’re applying for a position in the technology industry, why not include that you have a big interest in technology. Be careful, the employer may ask you questions on this so be honest and only mention interests that you can justify with examples.
Remember one size does not fit all. Employers what to see how your skills and experience match the specific role they have advertised. Tailoring your CV to the role you are applying for will show how much you want to work for them and that your CV isn’t a generic one like the other 100 they have read that day. Pick out keywords and phrases from the job description, make your experience fit and elaborate on any experience you have that is particularly relevant for this role. Its all about drawing attention to details and examples that match the requirements of the role – don’t miss this tick!