CVs are as different as people, so writing a great CV isn’t always easy. However, we’ve listed some ideas that should help you get the best of your efforts.
Firstly, remember to write your CV with your reader in mind. Write it for the job/industry that you want to work. A good CV should describe your interests and any work experience (including responsibilities and achievements) as concisely as possible.
Your CV should start with a Profile that serves as an executive summary of who you are, what your experience and education to date has been and what you are interested in going forward. A small paragraph (3-4 sentences) should be plenty. This is the first part of your CV that a hiring manager will
read, so it is important to be as ‘punchy’ as possible.
For previous work experience we recommend you focus on two core areas when writing this up – Responsibilities and Achievements. By putting these two areas under separate subheadings you can then clearly distinguish between the two.
- Include bullet points that describe what you do on a daily basis.
- Include dates, both month and year.
- Include A-levels.
- Include full grades (or predicted grades) for all studies.
- Discuss relevant modules (particularly when relevant for industries you are applying to).
- Make note to any Professional qualifications gained as part of studies.
- Highlight any gaps (e.g.) year off between High School and University.
Including an Interests section on your CV is an opportunity for you to highlight what you like to do out of work, whether this is cooking, throwing a frisbee, or developing your own projects in your spare time.
- Describe your responsibilities in bullet point format, starting with a verb.
- Include complete dates, both month and year.
- Highlight your personal achievements (rather than the team’s achievement).
- Not be too lengthy; you don’t need to write down every single aspect of your role.
It’s worth having this section on your CV as it allows for further talking points besides work during your interview. Include personal websites/LinkedIn accounts if you wish.
Key Things to Avoid:
- Excessive use of superlatives.
- Incomplete dates: ensure that you put both the month and year of your employment dates on your CV.
- Use of 3rd person descriptions.
- Over use of jargon/acronyms.
- Avoid the use of tables/pictures/over complicated formatting.
- Describing what the team does; your CV should focus on your responsibilities and accomplishments.
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