Knowing how to present and write your CV to a professional standard is paramount to securing an interview.
To make your CV as strong as possible, we have compiled top tips you need to know when creating your resume. We’ve created this CV builder to help you 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 yours is impressive and stands out from the crowd.
Your CV is a visual representation of you. Overall layout and presentation is essential for your chances of being considered. Most employers will ask for your CV to be as a Word Document, though some will also accept PDF files too. Don’t have your copy/text bigger than 12, unless it is a title or heading. Also make sure that your CV isn’t too long; employers don’t want an essay when it comes to CVs, so keep yours to a max of 2 pages.As for how your CV should be laid out we suggest:
- Personal Details (name, address, contact details)
- Personal Statement (ensure it matches the position you are applying for)
- Skills (match the skills to the job)
- Education (make sure grades are visible)
- Work Experience (from most recent) – mention the duties and your role within the business
- Interests/hobbies (optional)
- Reference contact details (optional for apprenticeships)
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.
Your personal details should be 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. Have these at the top of the CV where they are most visible. Employers and recruiters will want to contact you, and if you have your email or number wrong, it will damper your chances of being contacted.
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. Update your personal statement to suit the job role; a personal statement targeted to a business role will not suit a creative role. What you had written for one position may not be suitable for another.
Employers want to know that you will be able to complete the tasks within the daily duties. However, make sure that they match with the role you are applying for. For example; you apply for a legal apprenticeship, but your skills are aimed at IT. Always match your skills to the job!
Be Truthful about the qualifications you received. If you lie on your resume it can have a massive impact on applying for future roles. If you have just finished school, college or university and still waiting on your results, you can put your predicted grades in their place. Have your most recent grades at the top.
Should be in reverse chronological order – most recent first, including name of company, job title, location, the dates you began and finished each employment. Separate your roles and responsibilities into easily viewable sections or bullet points. Make sure that your positions relate to that area of work. You don’t need to add every job you have had, but ensure the roles you have placed relate to the skills they are looking for.
Additional Skills / Awards
Try and include a short mention of how these skills were acquired. For example, 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.
If you would like to learn more about creating a strong CV, you can get in touch via: