Preparing A CV
Advice on writing that crucial curriculum vitae
Your CV is the key weapon in your assault on the job market. A good CV can increase your chances of getting the career you want, making employers aware of your skills and experience and helping you make it onto the interview shortlist.
There are two basic approaches when writing a CV but don't be afraid to experiment because there are no hard and fast rules about creating CVs.
Employers will generally expect to see one of two types: the historical format or the skills format. The former is the more common and traditionally places your experience or employment history in chronological order; the latter details your skills and abilities and is better for 'disguising' any breaks in your employment history.
Whichever type you choose your CV should be clear and well-ordered, avoiding artistic layouts or fancy graphics. Place the information you include into organised sections like EDUCATION or SKILLS and include dates.
Be sure to include:
This includes your name and address, telephone numbers and email address. For some vacancies you may need to add your nationality, date of birth and whether you hold a full, current driving licence. These are not always necessary but with the opening of European borders many employers now question whether candidates require a visa or work permit - include your nationality and avoid confusion.
It is customary to list your most recent experience first, working backwards in chronological order. Outline your experience and achievements in short sentences and don't forget to include any voluntary activities which are relevant to the post you are applying for. Do make a note of any skills or qualities you gained in the post, such as managing staff or handling responsibility.
Education & Skills
Give details of your qualifications and grades attained. List any skills you may have, such as IT skills or languages.
It is common to provide the names and addresses of two referees. One should be the name of your current or most recent employer (or your teacher if you are a school leaver). You must ask your nominated referees for their permission to do this before you include them on your CV.
Hobbies & Personal Interests
This is not essential, though some employers like to know a little more about their candidates. Keep the list short and use it to highlight personal qualities, such as teamwork or technical skills relevant to the vacancy.
You must present your CV as clearly as possible: for popular vacancies employers will receive hundreds of applications and most have only a minute - or less - to stand out from the crowd.
Do use positive language and concentrate on achievements rather than your responsibilities - don't just rewrite your job description.
Don't leave gaps in your employment history as employers may wonder what you're hiding. Do stick to two sides of A4 or less and trim any unnecessary details.
Lastly, don't forget to update it regularly with every job change you go through - an outdated CV is more work to update and of no use to anyone!
Try out our CV Builder - click on the link to the right - you will need to register to use this area of the web site
If you want to learn how to present yourself well to employers, in writing, on the telephone and at interview,
Contact a CONNEXIONS Adviser