Make sure you present yourself in the best way with our helpful guide on how to write a CV.
Keeping your CV short and to the point, no more than two sides of A4 is a good start. Also, before you begin typing, chose a professional looking font and leave the comedy styles alone!
Follow these tips and you’ll have a great CV, spend a lot less time worrying about how to write your CV.
What do I write on a CV?
As a general rule the following are the kind of things that should be included on your CV.
Don’t worry if you don’t have all of them but be sure to include at the very least to contain your contact details, work history and education if applicable.
Contact Details: Put your contact details at the top of your CV. This should include your full name, address, a telephone number that you can be contacted on, and/or an email address.
Education: You should list your educational qualifications, with the most recent ones appearing first. Highlight the level of education, subject and grades you received.
Career History: Your career history should be listed in chronological (date) order. You should include the name of the company, job title, the date you started the employment and the date you finished the employment.
You should also briefly outline your key responsibilities – at interview you may be able to explain further detail.
If you have had extensive experience and had a lot jobs you can always remove some of the oldest in the list, or just give the name and date of this company to save space.
Work Experience: If you have not been in employment before but have completed some work experience then this will definitely be an important aspect of your CV.
You should include your job title, the company you worked for, the duration of the work experience and the dates you worked there. You should also outline your key responsibilities whilst working there.
Even if you have had other employment – it may also be worth listing your work experience, as the skills you demonstrated might be important within the jobs you are applying for.
Training, skills and achievements: If you have taken any courses, won any awards within a professional capacity, or have any professional skills or achievements list them here. If they are courses, remember to provide the dates you attended.
IT Skills: A good knowledge of software is worth listing such as being competent in Microsoft Office, including Word and Excel, for example. If you are familiar with any specialist software or programming languages, then this is the place to list them.
Language Skills: If you are bi/multi-lingual, or have a good knowledge of a language other than your native language, then this information may be useful to list. However, be careful – if you can speak the odd French phrase, don’t put that you are fluent in French which would be misleading.
Personal Details: There is lots of information out there with regard laws about discrimination within employment. An employer should not use your age or a disability you may have as a reason not to employ you. Therefore disclosing this information should not be detrimental to the application process. It is your choice as to what personal information you disclose on your CV, but you could add any of the following extra information:
Date of birth, marital status, whether you have a full/clean driving licence, disability information, unspent criminal convictions etc.
With changes to the law around how personal data is used, known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) there are certain special cataegories that need more protection and therefore we advise not including on your CV. These are:
trade union membership;
biometrics (where used for ID purposes);
sex life; or
Hobbies and Interests: Be careful here. If a passion of yours is relevant to the work / employer you are applying for / to, then you may wish to add it.
If on the other hand, your hobbies and interests are socialising or keeping fit, avoid including this. For more detail on this section check out the blog: https://www.allthetopbananas.com/blog/article14_Hobbies
So in summary, there are no 100% definitive rules when it comes to CV writing, you may choose not to list all of these aspects or you may wish to include them all. This is guide to give you an idea of what an employer might expect to see, so good luck, and happy job hunting!