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CV Writing

Your CV is often the first contact your interviewer will have with you, so it is essential to make the very best first impression you can.

And with competitive work environments, it has never been more important to make sure you sell your skills, experience and anything else that could give you the extra edge over other applicants.

Read on to learn our tips of how to write a memorable CV.

Contact details

Include your name, address, email, phone number and LinkedIn profile link at the top of your CV.

Ensuring your details are up to date and easy to find will make it much more straightforward for potential employers to contact you.

Profile

Write a few sentences to highlight what makes you tick, and what makes you different from other applicants.

A summary of your personal and professional strengths and what you are hoping to achieve in your next role can go a long way with an employer.

Presentation

Employers and recruiters might receive hundreds of CVs every day, so making yours clear, concise and eye-catching will help keep it at the top of the pile.

Using bullet points and bold headings, underlining key points, and listing education and experience in reverse chronological order will make your CV easy to follow.

When you’re finished, try to read it from an employer’s point of view. Would you pick up the phone and call you back?

And, finally, a simple spell check is often not enough: ask someone else to proofread your finished CV.

Qualifications and training

The importance of listing these depends on the role you’re applying for. Specific roles require certain qualifications, and it’s a good idea to show your suitability for a job vacancy as early as possible.

Remember to include memberships of professional bodies, relevant qualifications, courses attended and relevant skills like languages and technical knowledge.

Always be honest - it’s easy for employers to check these details and they may ask to see evidence of qualifications.

Experience

List your work experience with your most current work history at the top, and include the role and dates you worked in that position.

List your main responsibilities, achievements, duties and skills, highlighting those most relevant to the role you’re applying for.

If there are any gaps, make sure you address them head on to avoid awkward questions later on.

What to leave out

Don’t state your reasons for wanting to leave your current role in your CV, as they could be misinterpreted. Salary expectations are also best saved for later to avoid coming across as presumptuous.

Further details/cover letter

Depending on how specialist or specific the role you work in or apply for, it may be worthwhile writing a specific cover letter or including an appendix to highlight specific skills or more generic areas of your background.

If you have over 20 years’ experience, for instance, it can be difficult to fit this onto 3-4 pages, so putting together extra information in this way means you can make the application more bespoke and ensure the employer doesn’t miss out on the skills and experience they are looking for.

References

You can either list your references or put down “references available on request”. Make sure your referees are at the ready to answer queries. This can speed up the application or help seal the deal.