Writing a CV

A well written CV makes all the difference when introducing yourself to a future employer.

  • Your CV should be written in chronological order i.e. your most recent position first.
  • Your CV promotes you as a person and why any prospective employers should interview you.
  • It requires time, care and attention in order to set you apart from the other candidates who are applying for similar opportunities.
  • Attention to detail is essential - spelling mistakes, poor use of grammar or incorrect use of tense does not bode well. Remember, spell check does not always work. For example, ‘stationary’ instead of ‘stationery’.

CV layout

  • Layout is very important. Your CV should be easy to read.
  • A poorly laid out CV will not be read with interest.
  • You must ensure that your CV can be easily read when printed but also make certain it is clear when viewed on a computer screen. 
  • A CV containing both bullet points and paragraphs sits well on a page.
  • A CV that is two to three pages long is ideal.

Getting started

Write a Profile

It is important to write a Profile about yourself to introduce your CV. This is a brief synopsis of you and your work experience. You need to create a very good first impression.

Get to the point

  • Think about what you want people to know about and what would impress them.
  • Accentuate any of your achievements which may be impressive and relevant.
  • Highlight your everyday duties coupled with examples of your work. This will encourage someone to interview you from their first glance of your cv.
  • If the content of the first page of your CV is not interesting then it is unlikely they will read on.

Work History

  • Make sure you accurately indicate the dates of employment for each one of your jobs.
  • If there is a long list of places of employment on the first page it may appear you have job hopped. Therefore, try not to write a minimal amount for your more recent positions in order to avoid this potential judgement.
  • Most potential employers are more interested in the detail contained within the last 12 months of your work history.

Qualifications

List your qualifications towards the end of your CV unless you have some which set you apart from the rest, then list them before your profile.

Interests

  • Avoid the obvious. Try not to list the interests that most people have such as socialising or spending time with family, for example.
  • Write about any hobbies, sports or pastimes you may be genuinely interested in. This will highlight your personality.

Completing your CV

  • It is paramount that you check and double check your CV for any errors and that you are happy with how it reads.
  • A second opinion may be worth considering as some constructive criticism could make all the difference to your CV.

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