Knowing how to present and write your CV to a professional standard is paramount to finding a great job and being put forward for an interview.
To make your CV as strong as possible we have complied the top tips you need to know on creating a strong CV. We’ve created this CV builder as this is the first opportunity to make a good impression on a potential employer. Recruiters and hiring managers can often see hundreds of resumes every day, so it is crucial that your CV is impressive to find a great job or apprenticeship.
Your CV is a visual representation of your working career. Overall layout and presentation is essential in increasing your chances of being considered for a position. Most employers will ask for you CV to be as a Word Document, though some will also accept PDF files too.
Make sure that your personal details are easily accessible and up to date. Your name should be the first thing they see, with your home address, phone number and email address below.
Use your personal statement section to capture the attention of the viewer, keep it concise and focus on one or two main skills you have that are beneficial to the sector. Depending on the job you are applying for, make sure that it is suitable for that role.
Should be in reverse chronological order – most recent first, including name of company, job title, location and the dates you began and finished each employment. Separate your roles and responsibilities into easily viewable sections or bullet points.
Be Truthful about the qualifications you received. If you lie on your resume it can have a massive impact on applying for future roles. Your most recent qualifications should be at the top.
Additional Skills / Awards
Try and include a short mention of how these skills were acquired. Cover IT packages or software you have used stating if they are ‘beginner, intermediate or advanced’ skills. Mention awards you have won even if they are not linked to your role. This can show the employer that you’re willing to learn new skills and always up for a challenge. Include if you are in possession of a full driving license, as this can be beneficial.
This section is optional. Mentioning your hobbies and interests can help the employer visualise you and your personality before they meet you. If you can make them relevant to the role this can increase you chance of an interview.
Include referee details or state that references are available on request. If you do use references, try and have them from roles you have been in within the last few years. You can also include tutor/teacher references.
A CV should be no more than two pages in length and to the point. On average employers only spend six seconds looking at a CV before deciding whether they are interested in a candidate or not.
Tailor your CV for each sector. Research desirable skills for the roles that you will be applying for and ensure they are clearly evidenced on your CV.
Always send a cover letter. Your cover letter should not be a repeat of your CV, but a collection of its highlights and what makes you the best possible person for the role.
Try not to leave a large gap in your employment history timeline – for example include a course or voluntary work you completed in this time. Try to put a positive spin on what you whilst being between roles.
Always keep your CV up to date. If you are currently in work ensure this is recorded on your resume. Update your work experience with details about your last or current role.
Have your resume proofread by someone else to check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Depending on where you are applying, the smallest mistake can have an impact on securing an interview.