How to Write a CV

Writing your own CV can seem a formidable task.  What to leave in is almost as important as what to leave out.  Describing your own strengths and skill sets can be tough.  Below we outline what is most important in writing your CV.  The current employment climate means that employers are looking to consistently improve on productivity and match a prospective employee’s skills and experience with the job needs, both now and in the future. Below is an overview of how to write a CV.

CV Design and Presentation

CV’s are a very subjective topic.  Some people write them and they are over long, some are plainly lacking in any relevant info at all.  Anyway, here are some guidelines for you that we see as essential in presenting the best case for yourself.

Always ensure that your CV is laser-printed on white, quality paper, use a clean typeface with a font of 12.  The use of sub-headings (e.g. Personal details, career history, etc.) will help potential employers scan easily through your details. Space the headings evenly.

Your name, address and phone number(s) should form the start of the document.  Commencing with your present or most recent employer, state your career history.  Then list your professional qualifications.  If you have been working for many years list your academic qualifications and a very brief mention as to your college or school.  If you are just commencing your working life, having previously been a student, provide a more in depth knowledge regarding your academic achievements to date.

Starting with your current or most recent employment, provide details of your position as follows:

  • Job title – time period that you worked there for.
  • The key tasks and responsibilities that comprise this role’s and your achievements whilst in the role
  • Where possible validate your achievements with facts and figures.
  • Promote your skills that will appeal to the potential employers.

For all previous employment, unless one appointment was more significant than your current or last position, keep details brief i.e. the name of the company, job title, period of employment and the job.  Ensure there are no gaps in your career history, as it will be asked of you to explain any periods not mentioned on your CV.

If you are a student just starting work, give examples to demonstrate your practical skills e.g. school member of sports team, and contributor to college magazine or voluntary work.

If the prospective role is in a team environment, mention that you belong to a local organisation or if you are part of a sports team.

Your CV should be no more than two A4 pages.

  • Be positive and be confident!
  • First impressions last!