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CV Writing Tips

How Do I Write A CV?

Your CV represents you. It is a means of creating a first impression of yourself and in many cases may be the only way for you to initially let prospective employers know the potential benefits you can bring to their company. You might be the perfect person for the job, but if your CV is not up to scratch, you'll be passed by.

When sending your CV, unless told not to do so, you should include a covering letter highlighting the vacancy which you are applying for and giving an overview of why you think the prospective employer should consider you. Don't repeat what you have written in your CV, a covering letter is a representation of your career interests and highlights your most relevant skills and experiences.

If you are sending a speculative CV, explain what kind of position you would be interested in.

What should be included in a CV?

  • Your name, address, telephone number (evening and daytime)
  • Academic qualifications (e.g. GCSEs, A levels, BSc Degree etc)
  • Vocational qualifications (e.g. HGV driving license or Microsoft Certified Engineer etc.)
  • Work history (starting with the most recent and working backwards)
  • Other major achievements (e.g. charity work or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro)
  • Hobbies and interests

Don't rely on using the same CV for every job you apply for too. It is advisable to edit it and refine the way it looks depending on the type of job you apply for.

Finally, be concise. Always try to limit it to a maximum of 2 sides of A4. This doesn't mean that you should leave information out, but it will require you to be brief and straight to the point on some of the information you provide.

What are the common CV mistakes to avoid?

When preparing your CV make sure that it is targeted to the job you are applying for. Don’t simply use a generic CV you have prepared, you may have to tweak the content, wording or layout depending on the position you are applying for.

Target your keywords and skills for the position you are applying for, don’t sell yourself short by missing the keywords and skills employers are looking for. Proof read your CV. Don’t rely on spell check. Read and check for spelling and correct use of grammar, then ask someone else to check it for you. Simple errors could let you down.

What should I check before sending my CV?

  • Ensure it is always typed and contains no silly spelling mistakes.
  • Take the time to produce a document that is both easy to read and professional looking.
  • Always use uncreased white paper and never give the idea that this is one of many CVs that you have just copied and sent out. A photocopied CV, will normally end up in the bin.

And Remember

If your still not confident in writing your own CV using these tips, you can always use the Diverse Employment easiCV tool.