If you have never written a CV nor have an out of date one then getting started can be quite daunting; what do I need to include?  How long should it be?  and does it make sense?

Writing a CV can often be easier with the help of someone else who knows you well, they know about all the good things that you can do.  You can also use the internet to look at different versions and approaches.

Our thoughts on what a good CV would be:

  • Keep it simple, short and punchy – no CV should be longer than 2 pages
  • Tailor it for each job you apply for which means reading the job ad carefully so you know what people are looking for
  • Be positive and explain the skills and attributes that you have which mean that you can do a great job!
  • Avoid long descriptions of the company that you work for and the job role, recruiters want to know what you have done and the impact that you have had
  • Be clear on what you have achieved, give examples about the difference you have made i.e. increased number of customers, improved service, won a company award etc.  However be honest, if you put it in your CV expect to be asked a question!
  • Avoid any gaps in your CV – if you weren’t working for any period of time just state why
  • Get someone to check it for you so that there are no mistakes and to make sure that all your positives stand out!
  • Once done make sure you save it and keep it up to date. No-one wants to re-write it again
  • If you are posting your CV online, make sure that the first page has clear job titles, skills and experiences. Think of these as ‘key words’ so that recruiters will find the right information quickly
  • Think about the design.  We have no strong recommendations on this other than:
    • Keep to no more than 2 pages
    • Don’t overfill the pages
    • Don’t make the font size too small
    • Put your name and contact details at the top of the first page
    • What you need to include:
      • Name, address and contact details
      • A short summary or personal profile which is a summary of what you can do
      • Where you have worked, your job title and dates
      • Any training and work qualifications that you have
      • Education and qualifications
      • People sometimes like to finish with personal details about themselves however this is not necessary

If you feel like you need some more help and ideas about writing a CV then we would suggest that you look at some of the job sites who provide free templates which you can easily download.  Our suggestions would be:

Monster   Totaljobs  Reed  National Careers Centre Indeed