Tips on Writing a CV
Your CV is your introduction to the company you are applying to work with, so make sure it stands out.
Although there is no set formula for writing a CV as each CV is unique, there are vital bits of information that must be on your CV.
Follow these top tips:
It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to include their name, email, and contact phone number.
The standard rule of thumb is not to add your personal address to your CV if you are uploading it to the internet. GDPR laws can only protect you if you allow them to.
‘Curriculum Vitae’, ‘CV’ and ‘Resumé’ are unnecessary titles – your name, however, is not!
A personal statement is an essential part of ensuring you stand out from the crowd. It explains who you are, and what you can bring to the table. It is also an opportunity to share what you are looking for from your next role or employer.
Talk about your goals and achievements and what drives you.
Avoid the standard templated words and statements:
- Punctual and reliable. (these are standard expectations in the workplace so unnecessary on your CV)
- Excellent timekeeping and attendance record. (again, this is a standard expectation in the workplace)
- Work well even when under pressure. (unless you can back this up with sales figures or deadlines met, leave it out!)
- Can work in an unsupervised capacity. (most roles require this unless you are applying for a 1st year apprenticeship or Modern Apprenticeship. Don’t state the obvious)
- Happy to work either as part of a team or alone. (in most workplaces you will be part of a team even in stand alone roles, this statement doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd)
Be creative, use examples but try to keep it simple by aiming to prove why you’re suitable in one or two short sharp paragraphs.
Keep this to a list of specific skills that are indicated as essential and/or desirable on the job description or person spec of the job advert. This will give you the added advantage over the competition as you have immediately highlighted the fact that you are who they are looking for.
An idea is to keep it to a bulleted list of 5 or 6 statements.
This section should include all your relevant work experience, listed with the most recent first. Include your job title, the name of the organisation, dates of employment, and your key responsibilities. Include any achievements and highlights during your time with the company.
DON’T copy and paste the job description you were given when you started the role, this is sloppy and lazy.
Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved.
For example, if you have more educational achievements than work experience, placing an emphasis on this section is a good idea.
DON’T add in any school qualifications if it is over 20 years ago.
DON’T put your high school dates on your CV. The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations Act 2006 can only protect you from age discrimination if you don’t directly give your age away.
Hobbies and interests:
You don’t always need to include hobbies and interests in your CV, but mentioning relevant ones could back up your skills and help you to stand out from the crowd – not to mention give you something to talk about at an interview.
DON’T say you enjoy socialising with friends just for the sake of including something. If it’s not going to add value, leave it out.
The rule of thumb here is not to put down references on your CV. For several reasons including, people change their roles and may no longer be available on the details you have provided.
End your CV with “References available on request” that way at an interview when asked for references you can decide who you want to give.
RULE: Always check with a referee before you give their details to anyone, some companies don’t allow for direct supervisors or line managers to give out references.
Text boxes, clip art and photos of yourself are not a good idea on your CV. Unless you are applying for a creative role in an advertising agency, keep it simple and easy for the hiring manager to read. You want to make an impression, but you don’t want to make the wrong impression.
Remember, a Good CV will set you apart from the rest, but a Great CV will secure you that interview! So, sell yourself!
If you would like any advice or assistance with your CV get in touch with the Angus Council Skills team.