How to write a successful CV

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Writing a great CV is essential during your job search. Your CV is often the only opportunity you have to make an impression on a prospective employer when job hunting. It can make or break your chances of securing your next role, especially when there are large volumes of applicants for each job. There is no wrong or right way to create your CV, and no perfect template to follow. However, we have listed some basic guidelines that will help you to write the perfect CV. 

Download our basic CV template 

What must your CV include?

Personal details and contact information - make sure you clearly state your name, email address, telephone number and home address.

Education and qualifications – list your qualifications, including the year and the grade you received. List any training that you’ve completed while looking for work or in previous employment.

Work experience – start your list with the most recent role first. Include the job title, employer, dates in the job role and your responsibilities. The prospective employer would like to see the experience you have gained in previous roles to see if you are qualified for the new role.

Skills – this is a perfect opportunity to sell your skills to the employer. List all relevant skills to the job in question and how you could apply these to the new role. Use skill keywords to get the recruiter to notice you. Remember to highlight specific skills that were identified in the job advertisement or description. 

Interests and achievements – use this section to tell the employer a bit about yourself and include any personal achievements that you feel could be of benefit to your new role.

Referencesthe employer will want to take references from ideally previous employers, colleagues or the place where you took further education. Do not feel obliged to list your references on your CV but you should make a note that references are available on request.  

Writing your CV

  • Ensure your CV is well structured and looks professional.
  • Your CV should be kept to two sides of A4. To help you keep your CV short enough, only include relevant information. 
  • Use clear headings and neat formatting to help guide the recruiter’s eyes over your document.  
  • Double check your finished CV for spelling and grammar and ask someone to proofread the document for you too.

Make sure that you’ve read and understood the requirements of the job that you’re applying for. Tailoring your CV for each individual application will not only give you the opportunity to highlight why you would be suitable but shows the employer how much you want the opportunity to impress them.

The main thing to remember is that the content is much more important than the design. As long as you’ve included all the main points and presented it clearly you’re on the right tracks. 

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