When writing an effective CV it is important to remember this is a maximum 2 page
document the purpose of which is to make you, the candidate, stand out from everyone
else. What you say and how you present yourself is very important. You only get
one shot to make an impression so make it count. Don’t lie and don’t waffle. Everything
you write, ask yourself “Does that add to the picture of the person I’m describing”.
The reader/prospective employer is only interested in facts delivered concisely,
confidently, articulately and truthfully. Feel free to use this template or you
can find many others online. Search CV template.
[Your email address]
[Your phone or mobile number]
This is a brief statement to tell the reader exactly what type of talent you are.
In this section you must sell yourself. In one sentence describe what you do, i.e.
Entry Level Graduate Writer with exceptional technical and layout capabilities.
Use strong adjectives that describe you like, “outgoing, hardworking, energetic
and positive”. Tell the reader in a couple of sentences what they
can expect from you, “natural leadership ability” “a can do attitude” “great
problem solver” “extensive technical know how”. Say what you are
passionate about, the area/sector you are working to get into and what you are inspired
by/want to do/achieve in the future.
Specify things in your career that single you out as unique, “Developed,
designed and launched the only interbank system currently used globally”.
It is always a good idea to build a portfolio of work in the area you are interested
to go into. If you want to work in TV, make a film and post online or to become
a journalist, write for student or school newspaper. Mention Prizes, awards and
Job Title – Company name and location ▪ The dates you worked there
i.e. 2011 – Present
List all specific achievements and skills you have for this role. Have you made
money for the company, headed up a successful project or been recognised with an
Talk about abilities and skills that are sought by other companies.
Keep it concise, short and direct.
Only include things that an employer is interested in. Things that paint a picture
of who you are, what you can do and also what you’d like to do, sectors/industries
you are passionate about.
If you have had a lot of jobs or very few try to find something positive to say
in either case. Don’t go into long lengthy explanations as to why, always highlight
why you are the best candidate in spite of your background or experience.
If you have had a number of jobs not in your chosen career path (while studying
or just to get a foot on the ladder) it is not necessary to write a job description
for every one. All the jobs below do not need a description as the job title makes
clear what is involved and the skills needed to do the job effectively.
Here you include details of any professional qualifications or training plus any
other positions of responsibility that show your character, commitment or community
involvement. You can also include hobbies and interests in this section if you wish.
These days computer skills are highly sort after. Most companies expect you to be
familiar with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Outlook, Powerpoint) however make sure
you list all your other technical capabilities even if you don’t think they are
important like say for example you edit all your home movies in Windows Live Movie
Maker put it down.
List your education and qualifications starting with your most recent first. If
you have a degree it is not necessary to list all your GCSE and A level subjects
but do specify any A or A* grades. If you are a school leaver then do list all your
subjects and grades individually, i.e.
If you did not do well at school, don’t despair. In your cover letter include a
brief line explaining why, something like you didn’t try your best because you were
immature and didn’t realise how important your exams were at the time, will help
to create a good impression. If your talents lie in other areas, building, creative,
mechanical and working with your hands give examples of things you have achieved
in these areas, like building a shed from scratch or rebuilding a car. We are not
all good at passing exams but that doesn’t mean you are lesser. Showing focus, discipline
and the ability to achieve is the key to getting a great job you really want.
“Excellent references provided on request” is a standard inclusion.
If you do not have a work/career reference because something went wrong or you have
not had a job yet, get a friend of the family, preferably a business person who
has known you for a while, to give you a project and then write a letter detailing
how you got on. Volunteer and ask your supervisor to write a reference for you.
You may also find these links helpful; Top Tips When Appying For An Advertised Job
and Ultimate Simple Cover Letter
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