Writing your CV

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Completing your CV can seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time. With most recruiters skim reading a CV in less than 30 seconds, you need to think carefully about how you order the information and its length.

The idea behind the CV is to showcase all of your achievements to your potential employers in a clear, concise way, that speaks to your strengths.

To begin with, ensure your contact detail are correct, give yourself a 2-page format to work with and include the following four sections…

Please note, the tips and views provided are those which we have found helpful here at hecom and we hope that you find them helpful too when doing your own research into how to write a CV!

Personal Profile...

Most attention is given to the first page of the CV, it’s the first chance you get to introduce yourself to a potential employer. You need the audience to engage with your CV quickly. Therefore, a short professional profile (of usually 4-6 lines) at the beginning helps. Make sure you say something original and memorable about the personal qualities that define you and your skills.

Here you will:

Outline your qualities and knowledge (what is unique to you)

Highlight any experience related to the role you are applying for

Experience...

This section will list any work experience you have and the skills you have acquired through this experience. Include dates and company names of:

Volunteer work

Internships

Full-time/part-time work

Work experience

Work placements

Education, Qualifications & Skills...

Here you can outline the formal qualifications you have, particularly anything that directly relates to the role. Some examples include:

Exam subjects and grades

Higher education (e.g. college certificates, university degrees)

Short courses (e.g. Health and Safety?)

Mention courses you are currently studying

Awards/achievements

Knowledge of systems

Languages you speak

References...

The final section will be references, which are an important way for employers to verify your work. You will be asked to provide names and contact details of (usually two) referees. They could be:

Manager/team leader from previous workplace

Mentors, sports coaches, youth leaders

If you are still at school, a teacher or head of year can be asked

If you are self-employed, a customer or independent contractor would be best

Tips & Tricks...

Things you should do:

Be aware of the aim of your audience

Show your strong points and good aspects

Focus on how you meet the requirements of the recruiter and the skills they are looking for

Use correct keywords outlined in the Job description

Write your CV in point form and keep the sentences short

Write your CV in the order of importance of the information

Things you shouldn’t do:

Don’t write things that are obvious

Don’t repeat information

Don’t use a photo (unless specifically asked)

Don’t send without checking for typos and errors

Formatting Tips:

Use black text, in a reasonable font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman)

Make it no more than two pages long

Use a simple layout, with paragraphs, headings and bullet points

Some employers will request a cover letter, this should be written on a separate page

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