man writing on paper

How to Write a CV

Jordan Rolf candidate, homepage, candidates...

A CV is the most important step of your initial application. Your CV is the first look an employer gets of you. They are your first and maybe the only form of direct communication with a potential employer. A completed CV aims to impress recruiters and is sent as an application to job adverts or as a speculative approach to prospective companies. This guide will help you to create, improve or develop your CV to a standard that will impress targeted employers.

Things you must include in your CV

Your personal details are a very important part of your CV. Making sure that these are documented on your CV is hugely important for your application process. Personal details that must be included within your CV are your name, home address, mobile number, email address and if relevant your LinkedIn or blog site. Making sure that these details are included in your CV is extremely important but even more so you must check that these details are correctly spelled so any potential employers can get in touch with you.

A good way to begin your CV is by using one or two sentences to summarise and emphasize the key attributes that you have. These will instantly gain the attention of employers and put you in good stead. You could also use this area of your CV to talk about your future career path as having aspirations show great personal motivation.

The next section of your CV should be any employment history and work experience that you have. You should write about your employment history and work experience if you have been working for a while as relevant experience is exactly what employers love to see. You should list your most recent job first and in detail explain the experience you have gained over the years you have been working or in work experience that you have been a part of. Education and training should then follow suite if you have been in a place of work for a longer period. You should start by listing your most recent qualifications and then work your way back to your school grades. Each employer searches for different things in your education and what they’re looking for depends on the requirements for the job. Some job offerings require specific certifications or degrees that are essential to getting the job. It’s crucial that you’re honest when listing your qualifications as some employers may do a background check into your qualifications.

Another segment of your CV that is good to create a memory in the employers’ mind of you is to list any academic or professional achievements to distinguish yourself. These can set you apart from other competitors when applying for a new role and shows you go the extra mile which an employer would love to see. 

Below your achievements, you can write about your interests and hobbies to tell the employer more about you and your personality. This gives them an opportunity to find out more information about you and your personality before meeting you.

The final section of your CV should be the names of two past employers. These will be your references should the employer you approach with your CV want to contact past employers to find out more about you and how you worked in the past for them.

How to Write a CV

Now that we have covered all of the main information that you should include within your CV, we will now go over the best ways to write you CV to best maintain a high standard of writing to impress the reading employer.

Firstly, standing out is one of the most important parts when writing a CV. Some job openings receive upwards of fifty applications so it’s extremely important to make your CV the one that stands out above the rest of them. Your CV should demonstrate a unique blend of skills, examples of success, problem resolution and where applicable management achievements.

The next point is to keep it simple. Some people overcomplicate the layout of the CV and try to be peculiar with their choice of font. Your choice of the font must be professional otherwise and the employer will close your CV straight after they open it. Simple layout formats work best when writing a CV. If you’re unsure of how to design a layout for your CV there are many templates online that you can use. Using a template can make your CV easier to read and will make sure you cover all the most important aspects of work history.

Try not to be generic when writing your CV, work out which industry sector your CV is destined for and tailor it directly for that specific industry. Highlight the correct areas of your experience that best link to your industry sector so that employers can see how experienced you’re in that specific field. Sometimes it’s also best to include other forms of experience so it doesn’t look as if there are gaps in your CV.

The second-to-last point is to make sure that you proofread your CV multiple times before sending it off. You don’t want potential employers to see mistakes throughout your CV as that could give out a bad first impression and may well lose you the chance to be interviewed. Check for mistakes in spelling, dates, incorrect email addresses and phone numbers. If you’re able to, ask someone you know to read over your CV as well to look for any mistakes. This will give you the best chance to correct any mistakes prior to sending off your CV as part of your application.

Just remember it takes an employer a very small amount of time to save or reject an application when reading through a CV. So, by following this guide it will give you the best chance to make a fast and most importantly good first impression on an employer.