An actually useful guide to writing your CV
A CV is your chance to nail your dream job. When it come to writing your CV, it’s worth taking your time to make it fire. Focusing on everything, from the font, the grammar, to the content, will really help you to stand out from the rest. Here are some of our tips on how to write a CV:
Step 1: Tailor it for the job
Your CV needs to show you have researched the role and identified the skills, experience and qualities required for the position. You can look at all the CV examples in the world, but they’re not relevant to the exact job you’re applying for. Use them as a basis for building your own.
Use the job description as a starting point and after every point make sure you refer back to them. Ensure you’re always covering exactly what the employer is looking for.
Step 2: Choose a format
When you’re searching online, it can seem like there is so much differing advice on how to write a CV. This is because depending on your personal circumstances, there are a number of different options. You should choose the best CV format for you. Just make sure to take the time to think about the font and spacing so it’s easy to read. Triple check your grammar and ensure your most up-to-date contact information at the top. It really is the simple things which will make the most difference.
Generally, the 3 most widely accepted CV models are:
Reverse chronological –
Starting with the most recent and working backwards, list your previous jobs, work experience and studies. A skills and achievement section wouldn’t go a miss at the end.
A format used for specific skill-focused jobs. Summarise each skill under separate headers listing experience to support each. This can also be useful if you’re looking at how to write a CV for jobs without experience. This includes entry level jobs, or if you’re going for a career change. This is because you focus on what you can do rather than what you have done.
Used mainly for those wishing to go into higher education after graduating. Be sure to reference your all your academic experience, along with research interests, publications and any teaching experience. Remember: An example of a good CV is no more than 2 sides of A4 – With the exception of academic CVs which can be longer.
Step 3: Be decisive
Don’t be tempted to put everything you’ve ever done into your CV. Don’t forget that most jobs ask for a cover letter, and this is where you can expand on points in more detail. Think of your CV writing as you simply listing the highlights. So, choose your content wisely with only the really relevant bits in there. An employer might only have time to scan your CV so be sure you get to the point and quick!
In general, it’s good to remove any wordy paragraphs, and text-heavy sections. Also, take out any info of no relevance to the employer or the job role. If you’re applying for an office based role, your potential manager doesn’t need to know the details of exactly how you folded the napkins at your 2010 waitressing job. Make sure you do include a list of your skills, work experience, and qualities relevant to the position. Refer back to the job description to make sure you’re covering everything they’ve asked for.
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