How do you write a CV? We have all asked this question at some point in our lives, especially when job seeking. Follow our easy guide on how to create the best CV possible, one that really highlights your experience, education and achievements, and that will help you succeed at job hunting.
What is a CV?
A CV is a written overview of your skills, education and work experience. When applying for jobs you will likely be asked to submit one as part of the initial application stage. Based on your CV an employer will assess how suitable you are for the role and may offer you an interview, so making sure your CV is relevant to the role is really important. A CV may also be required when applying for internships, volunteering, work experience and placements.
What should a CV include?
Employers will often scan a CV and decide after a few seconds if you are right for the job! Knowing what to include will go a long way and will mean you’re more likely to succeed.
A CV should be 1-2 pages long and a snapshot of your academic and professional life. Don't be tempted to describe your entire life to the recruiter, keep it concise and relevant. You can sprinkle a little bit of your personality in by including a personal profile and a section on your hobbies and interest.
The components that make a good CV are:
- Contact Details
- Personal Profile
- Key Skills
- Employment Experience
- Education and Training
- Hobbies and Interests
1. Contact Details
Include your name, email address and a mobile number (can include your home number too). There`s no need to include your national insurance number, home address or nationality.
2. Personal Profile
This part is the introduction to your CV and is usually the first thing an employer will read. It is a concise and well written introduction to your qualifications, skills and experiences.
It is important to tailor this to the job role you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a shop assistant role, highlight your customer service experience.
This section should be around 4/5 sentences long and should be focussed around your experiences and skills.
“I consider myself to be an organised and motivated individual who is looking to further a career in warehousing following a break during which I have been actively seeking work. I possess excellent communication and team working skills, I work well under pressure and can manage deadlines effectively. I am also comfortable working in line with policy and procedures such as Health & Safety. I have relevant experience in warehousing as my last job was as a Warehouse Operative which included carrying out tasks such as picking and packing, moving and organising stock and labelling products ready for delivery.”
3. Key skills
A CV should highlight and demonstrate all your skills which are relevant to the role.
How do you know what your key skills are?
TIP: Look through the job advert and write down all the skills they require. Afterwards, scan through and see what ones are relevant to you, and that you can back up with examples, and include them in your CV.
Below are just some skills you can add to your CV.
4. Employment Experience
List your employment history in this section, which can include paid work, placements, work experience and volunteer roles. Work in a reverse chronological order, with the most recent first. You do not need to include the reasons you left or terminated the role.
Keep it simple for the employer and layout your experience like this:
Start Date [ ]- End Date [ ]
Name of Company
Description of job role
TIP: Describe your job role using bullet points and include your achievements in the workplace.
5. Education and Training
This is an opportunity to list all your qualifications, again putting your most recent qualification first. Remember to keep it relevant. You don’t need to add all your grades. Haven`t got your grades yet? – you can add your predicted grades.
You can also include any training you have undertaken such as a Health & Safety, Childcare or Construction course.
This is the section where you can add the work you`re doing on any of our projects e.g YES, Care Leavers, WIRE, Making Moves etc.
Again, format it in the same way as your experience. For example,
Completion Date [ ]
Name of Training provider or School
6. Hobbies and Interests
Mentioning your interest and hobbies allows your personality to shine through. As much as it might be true try to avoid “socialising with your friends” or “going to the pub” and clichés.
If you have a passion such as painting or playing an instrument, then make sure to really highlight it. If you are still struggling to decide what to include in this section, then check out the list below to inspire you.
- I am a member of a group e.g. sports team, choir
- I have an interest e.g. gardening/ craft / cookery/ special interest
- I support a sports team e.g. Leicester City
- Use local library and read ………. Books (genre)
- Visit local cinema and enjoy films (genre)
- Particular genre of music
- How do you keep fit?
- Do you have an aspiration to learn something e.g. an instrument/ to drive?
- Where is your ultimate travel destination/ have you already travelled anywhere interesting?
Make sure the people you nominate to be your references are happy to talk about your experience, character and skills to a potential employer.
So, who can be a reference on your CV? Unfortunately, it can`t be family members or friends. The list below contains more suitable references.
- Previous Employer
- Social Worker/Key Worker
We hope this guide has been useful for you. Below are some CV do`s and don`ts that you should take care to remember. Now try writing your own following the guidance 😊