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Writing a CV

The Job Search – Step 1

So what is a CV, what should it contain and how should you go about writing one…?

It can be daunting, writing a CV for the first time. In essence, a CV is an overview of your work experience and qualifications. Hopefully, it will say enough to encourage a potential employer to invite you to interview and give you the opportunity to sell yourself and your skills in person.

What is a CV?

  • A CV is a summary of your qualifications, career history and achievements.
  • It should be informative, to the point and sell you and your skills in the best way possible.
  • CVs should be reasonably brief, and easy to read.
  • Aim to make it 2 pages if possible. If you have had a long and involved career then it may be longer or indeed if you are just starting out, a one page summary will be sufficient.
  • Different industries may lend themselves to more creative styles – the legal profession does not. No unusual fonts or colours.
  • Make sure your CV is free of spelling mistakes / typing errors. Ask a friend to proofread it.

The CV

Personal details;

  • Your name, address, contact numbers and email. Make sure your details are up to date, easy to spot and not hidden away.
  • There is no need to include National Insurance / passport details or date of birth
  • If you are relocating, make reference to your new location even if you don’t have a new address.

Qualifications;

  • This should contain your academic qualifications in reverse chronological order and any professional qualifications and memberships. If you are in the process of studying, include these with the expected date of completion.

Experience;

  • Chronological order, with your current job first. Give a brief explanation of your duties, using bullet points if possible. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms unless very common within the industry.
  • If you are involved in any extra duties, for example member of the social committee, include that as well.
  • If you are at the early stages of your career, don’t discount part time / vacation work. This demonstrates work experience, and will often have transferrable skills that will translate to the role you are applying for.

Interests / Hobbies;

  • These can include a range of things that you do in your spare time, but ensure that they are professional. Including things like charity/volunteer work, sporting or creative hobbies will show your passion for things outside of your career. All of these will showcase different skills and are a great ice breaker for interviews.

And if you are still not sure…. Why not get in touch with us? We are always happy to cast a critical eye and give you some additional advice.

writing a cv

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