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Writing CVs – Top Tips for Jobseekers

Posted in Candidates, Recruitment, Training & Development on May 24, 2021 by Keeley Edge

A CV is a written summary of your skills, achievements and experience, condensed into a one to two page document. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution to writing a CV, this document should always be clearly formatted, appropriate in length for a recruiter to skim read and, most importantly, tailored to the role or industry you are applying for.

Not sure where to start? Here are some basic rules to follow:

Personal Details to Include in Your CV

Name, phone number, email and location. This is the information that a recruiter will see first when they review your CV. Ensure that it is clearly presented at the top of the document to make it easy for the recruiter or potential employer. Your home address is not essential and from a data protection point of view, you may want to leave off your full postal address. However your location to show where you are able to work is important to a recruiter and potential employer.

Writing a Personal Statement

Also referred to as a personal profile or personal summary, think of your personal statement as if it were a blurb. Sitting at the top of the document, it serves as an invaluable opportunity to convince a recruiter that you are the perfect candidate for the role. Think carefully about the skills, specialisms and successes that are unique to you and try to convey these as succinctly as possible.

What to Include in the Work Experience Section

This is where you set out your professional history. As well as showcasing your achievements, your work experience needs to include information that is targeted to the role in question.

For each job, list the title of the position you held, the company name, its location, and the dates of employment. Start with your most recent job and list backwards in reverse chronological order. There is no need to include every job you have ever had, only your most recent roles (last 5 years) and those that demonstrate your compatibility for the role.

We would advise using three to five bullet points detailing the responsibilities of each job to help recruiters navigate the document easily. Consider the language you are using and avoid repetition. A potential employer is more likely to take interest in examples of your accomplishments, supported by quantitative information, than a shopping list of duties.

How Do You List Your Education on Your CV?

Again, listed in reverse chronological order. Include the type of qualification, institution attended, the grades obtained and the dates you were a student of said institution. Be sure to list any relevant modules. Your degree may not be directly relevant to the job, but some of your modules might be.

Should You Include Hobbies and Interests?

Hobbies and interests are not always necessary and should be omitted if they are taking up valuable space. However, mentioning relevant interests could back up your skills, bringing both your personality and capability across.

Remember, you don’t get a chance second chance to make a first impression!

Think about the role you are applying for. If "attention to detail" is a required skill, make sure your CV is free of errors. Are written communication skills needed? Then ensure your CV is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Before you start applying, get your CV checked over and ask for help from friends and family if you need it. Even if document formatting and the written word is not required for the type of role you are applying for, showing that you have taken the time to put together a clear and well thought through CV highlighting your skills and experience will help you stand out from the crowd. 


If you feel you need further help in preparing your CV - check out our tailored CV writing service -

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