Preparing your CV

Your CV is fundamental to improving your chances of securing your dream job.  You should not underestimate the power of this document.

The aim of a CV is to provide a ‘picture’ of you to give someone an insight into who you are. It is crucial that your CV is ‘pitched’ correctly as prospective employers often judge you within the first 30 seconds of reading the document.  Your CV is the document that, if written properly, will get you to that interview

Remember, the goal is to secure an interview so carefully think about what information is going to be pertinent to the vacancy you are applying for.

The CV should be relevant, well laid out, highlight your skills, experience, and personal qualities in a concise manner.

You should strive to sell yourself as much as possible to a potential employer. You should describe yourself in terms that make you sound positive and upbeat so try to use positive expressions such as: Accurate, Adaptable Confident, Hard-working, Innovative, Pro-active, Reliable, Responsible.

You may not be asked to show proof of all qualifications or provide telephone numbers of referees, but you want to be prepared if asked - if you have lost your certificates for example, these may take some time to replace.

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Your CV is a reflection of you so it needs to look professional and we can help you with this.

Personal Details:

We recommend you include the following:

  • Your full name (including your first, middle and surname),
  • address,
  • email address(s),
  • home telephone number and mobile phone number.
  • Your nationality is not import ant in terms of your application however, details of which countries you are eligible to work in is. Give full details of any work visas you have including limitations/exceptions.  
  • Do you have a full driving license? Any penalties? 

Education / Qualifications:

You should list all your qualifications and education history starting with the most recent first.

For example:

BSc (Hons) 2.1 in Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in International Marketing at the European School of Economics
1991 – 1994

A Levels: Economics [A], Maths [B], English [B], Business Studies [C], at Imperial College, London
1989 – 1991

GCSEs: Maths [B], English Language [B], History [B], German [C], French [C], Accounting [C], Business and Communication Systems [C] at South Hampstead High School
1984 - 1989

If you have minimal post-qualification experience you may want to state the subjects you completed as part of your degree including any qualifications or courses you studied that is relevant to the position you are applying for. What were your main projects?

List details of any training courses you attended including:

  • Where it was held, date you attended and who the course was run  

Include a list of your professional qualifications, membership of professional associations and professional ID numbers.

You may have only completed part of a qualification due to extraordinary circumstances.  If the qualification is relevant to the position you are applying for then list the details along with a brief explanation of why you did not complete the course. If you are interested in completing the course then state this - employers will see you are motivated and serious about your career.

Computer Skills:

List your computer skills, including the software and operating system(s) you are familiar with and your level of similarity/skill.. e.g. Microsoft Office 2003 – Advanced.

Languages:

List the languages you have knowledge of including the level at which you can read, write and speak it.  The employer may favour someone who can speak different languages but may not have listed this as a prerequisite.  You may want to list these like this;

  • German (fluent written only)
  • French (excellent spoken, intermediate written)
  • Italian (some basic knowledge)

Interests / Hobbies:

List your interests, hobbies, sports you play and any memberships or positions of responsibility  you hold at a club or organisation., charity work you are involved in.

If this experience is relevant, you may want to list this under 'work experience' ensuring you state this as part-time or casual so employers are clear that you do not have 2 full-time jobs.  

Interests and hobbies can play a crucial part in your application process.  You may be applying for a Poker Marketing Manager position for example, do you have an interest in poker? If so, what types of poker do you play –Hold’em Poker,Texas Poker…  How often? It’s all relevant.

References:

You should list your references at the end of your CV if you wish. Where you have left that company and a good relationship exists with your previous manager then speak with them first advising them you may be looking and asking them if you can include their contact details such as an email and day/evening and mobile telephone numbers. 

Vacancy search: