The full name for a CV is Curriculum Vitae. Your CV is an important career document as its purpose is to get you an interview. Generally a CV should contain no more than two pages. Sometimes a one-page summary is all that is required. Make sure your CV is honest and factual and ensure any gaps in your employment history can be explained if you are asked to attend an interview.
There are no rights and wrongs when writing a CV, however, a few guidelines should be followed to ensure you present yourself as clearly and concisely as possible.
Most employers would expect to see the following:
- Personal details including name, address, phone numbers and e-mail address (if appropriate).
- Work experience. Always list the most recent first as this tells the employer what you currently do and how it may relate to the job being advertised. Briefly describe your current job and try to include some specifics such as, the ability to manage a team, working within a budget, working to tight deadlines etc. You should place the most emphasis on recent jobs, and jobs which are relevant to the position applied for.
- Education. Provide brief details of qualifications gained and at what level – GCSE, CSE, ‘O’ Level etc. Also include any specific skills such as IT or relevant management training courses.
- Hobbies and interests. This is optional although it does give the employer a more rounded picture of you. If you do include this section, make sure you keep it brief.
- References. It is usual to provide the names and contact details of two referees. One of your most recent employers and one may be a close friend or other previous employer.
Other guiding principles
- Make sure you highlight your key achievements but keep them as short, bullet-pointed statements. Explain what you did well and what the result was of your action.
- Where you can demonstrate your suitability to the role being applied for, make sure your relevant skills and attributes link to the advert.
- Leave out anything you think is irrelevant
- List any professional memberships or recent training courses you have attended. (Do not make a long list of all the one-day training workshops you may have attended during your career).