Writing a CV

Writing a CV

A good CV is vital when looking for your next career move; it is the first impression a potential employer will gain of you and is more than likely the reason you will be invited to an interview.

There is no right or wrong way to write a CV and throughout your career you will be advised to do it in more than one way. You have to adopt a style that reflects you and is relevant for the role you are applying for.

Information your CV should include:

  • Personal Details
  • Work Experience; note it is the general rule to list your employment history with your current position and employer first. Always state clearly the name of the employer, the job role you held with them and the date you started and left their employment. 
    Each role should be broken down into responsibilities and achievements bullet pointing each individual area separately. 
    Examples of achievements may be winning an award, achieving or over achieving a target, delivering a project within a deadline or developing a new product. They can be anything that shows a prospective employer you are successful in your job and have achieved whilst in the role.
  • Skills. These will include foreign language skills, any training courses attended with any industry qualifications gained and computer skills.
  • Education and qualifications. These include schools, colleges and universities. You should note the qualifications gained and the dates you attended, the most recent being the first on the list.
  • Hobbies and interests.
  • Referees. These can be detailed or left as available on request.

General Guidance

  • You do not want your CV to be either too long or too short, so it doesn't give enough information. We would recommend you try and keep it to two pages and never more than three.
  • Current salary details should not be included.
  • In an interview, you may be asked the reason why you left a place of work. This can be put on a CV if you feel it is necessary. If not, be prepared for the question.
  • You may wish to change your CV depending on the type of role you are applying for. It is not uncommon to have a sales-based CV and a marketing-based CV for example.
  • You may wish to include an Executive Summary which is a short paragraph describing you as an individual, what motivates you and what you are looking for from your next career move. This often paints a more detailed picture of a candidate and can make a CV more human.
  • Never manipulate the truth. Any false dates / qualifications / gaps in employment will be discovered and questioned, and can result in an employment offer being withdrawn.