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The Basics of Writing a CV

Your CV is  a snapshot of your career history and your personality.  It’s your first opportunity to wow a potential employer and is a vital tool for securing an interview.  But for many, writing a CV can be daunting task, especially if it’s not something you have had to do often, if ever! When you think about it though it’s very simple, as there is nothing easier to write about than yourself.  Here we outline our top tips for writing a CV


The biggest question when it comes to writing a CV is what should be included, here is our recommended layout that has proven successful for hundreds of candidates.

Personal details – Name, email, address

Personal statement – A brief introduction to you, this can include a summary of your career to date, how you got to where you are and what you are looking for now.

Career history – name the company you worked for, your job title, how long you have worked there and then bullet point your duties.  We always find it useful to include a brief sentence on what the company does so that a potential employer can see how that industry relates to theirs.  When writing your bullet points for your duties, remember to keep it brief but include all databases and systems you have used.  This is merely a snapshot of what you do and more can be explained in an interview.

References – how you handle your references is entirely up to you, you may have people lined up ready to give you a reference in which case include their names and contact numbers.  However, it’s sometimes nicer to put references on request as then you can tailor the contact for the job role and also pre-warn them that they may expect a call from a potential employer.

Education – Make sure this is in chronological order, after all your degree is probably more relevant to the job you are applying for than your GCSE’s. Don’t forget to include any on the job qualifications you have achieved, for example first aid, fire safety or food and hygiene as these are all relevant too.

Hobbies – Possibly the worst part for anybody to write, how do you make yourself sound different to anybody else?  Simply put you don’t, you just need to show a little more about your personality. For example, if you are keen reader put that you like to read but don’t stop there, what authors do you like, what genre do you read and why? All of this information helps the interviewer picture you as a person and makes your CV come to life


Our Top Tips

Personal details
You would be amazed at how many CV’s we see that don’t have people’s personal details on. You may have the best CV in the world but if you forget to include your phone number and email address how can a potential employer get hold of you to tell you they can’t wait to interview you.  It is important to remember as well that when including an email address it needs to sound professional.  No employer wants to be emailing misssexy@gmail.co.uk


Make sure that you use a nice font that is easy to read, you may be a creative person or your favourite font maybe cursive, but remember that employers may be reading up to 20 CV’s a day and yours needs to be clear, concise and easy to read.


The two page rule
We are often asked about the two page rule, does a CV have to fit on 2 pages? In all our time in recruitment, we have never met an employer who has heard of this rule.  The main thing is that you cover all the information you need to on your C,V this may take one page it may take three.  If you do go over two pages our advice is to just re-read your CV and make sure you haven’t over explained anything or duplicated information.

With these top tips you should find writing your CV a breeze, but always remember if you do get stuck your recruitment agent is always just at the end of the phone and has plenty of experience to help you.

For more information about writing a succesful CV, please contact one of our experienced recruitment experts on 0330 111 5252.

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