CV writing tips
We can help you write or improve your CV – just contact us for help with your CV. Below are some general tips you may find useful.
How to structure your CV
A good CV should be two sides of A4, well designed and formatted with plenty of space and an easy to read text size.
Set your CV out with information in the order of importance. Use bullet points where appropriate to make it concise and avoid using graphics. While each CV is personal, we suggest the following format.
Your name, address, telephone number and email address.
A few lines that describe you as a person and highlight your strengths.
Skills and abilities
Skills you gained through work or training, and skills that you use in everyday life, such as speaking and listening, repairing things, organising and time management.
Start with your last job, then work backwards. Include voluntary work and work experience. No job is irrelevant but make sure you focus on its relevance to the type of work you are looking for.
List your all your job duties but keep it brief. For instance:
- Answering the telephone and taking messages
- Controlling incoming and outgoing post
- Giving out information to clients
Education and training
Give the name and address of your schools with the grades and dates of the qualifications you gained.
If you don’t have any formal qualifications, put the level you worked to, for instance, ‘educated to GCSE standard’. If you do not have any qualifications, give the names of your schools and focus on your experience.
If you studied at college or university, add the name and address of each with any qualifications, the year and grade gained.
Additional training or skills
List training courses with the dates – such as language courses, computing skills and NVQs. Include any one-day courses and work-based training.
Add any other relevant items not already listed, such as the fact you hold a current driving licence or care for a relative.
Interest and hobbies
List hobbies and leisure activities such as travel, membership of clubs and any positions of responsibility. Your interests tell a potential employer a great deal about your personality.
List two work referees, or one employer and one education or character referee. You cannot use a family member. Make sure you have your referees’ permission and give their name, job title, address and telephone number.
If you are short of space or do not have permission from referees you can simply state, ‘References available upon request’.
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