A good CV is key to getting a job interview, but that doesn't mean making one has to be complicated. We have written a quick guide to help you know what to include, how to structure it and what to remember when you're writing it up.
Before we get started, there are a few considerations worth noting:
- A CV is an ever-changing document, that should be adaptable to each job you apply for, updated regularly and have multiple versions of itself, the later, depending if you are applying for jobs in different industries.
- Spelling errors. Yes, it still happens a lot. It's such an easy mistake to make but with major consequences. Go over it, go over it again and then ask a friend to go over it.
- Take notes from the successful layout of a LinkedIn profile, as its simple, clean, clear and follows this basic structure. If you don't have a LinkedIn profile but have a CV like this, you're only a couple of steps away from creating one.
How should a CV be laid out & what do you need to include?
Personal Info & Contact Details
Your full name.
Email address & telephone number used most often and if you want the area you live in.
The next two areas are for the person reading your CV to quickly understand your experiences and skills. All you need to do is sum up in a couple of sentences the work experience you've had that relate to the job you're applying for.
Keeping it straightforward, add a quick bullet point list of your key skills and strengths. If you have any software experience, here's the place to put it.
This will be the bulk of your CV, starting from your most recent experience. You want to include your work history and any relevant volunteer or work experience placements and the responsibilities you had there. A clean way to format it would be like this:
Education & Languages
Put down your education/qualifications in a bullet point list, including your institution, course name and grade.
It's not necessary to add the actual references on your CV, as you can simply put 'References available on request'
Hobbies/Interests – It's not a necessity to have your hobbies on your CV, but it can give the person reading more of an understanding of what you're like...there's no harm in that!
Things to Remember
- Use an appropriate email address
- Short, sweet and simple – ideal size is 2 pages, over 4 should be avoided
- Avoid setting it out in boxes – it may not be brought to the attention of the employer and be left unread because software finds it hard to read the keywords and if someone opens it in a different program it can become disordered
- As well as checking for spelling errors, use capital letters for proper nouns
We hope this guide can help you, but if you need someone to look over your CV, we offer CV/Resume guidance as part of our recruitment services. Contact us on 01376 507820 or email us on email@example.com.