CV Writing Hints & Tips

How to Write a Great CV

Tips to help you write a CV that will help you stand out and get you noticed. Your CV is your opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer or agency. Create the right impression by keeping it relevant and tailor it to the job you are applying for.

What to include:

Personal details:

  • Most importantly your name, professional title (if you have one) and your contact details should be displayed at the beginning of your CV. Your contact details; phone number(s) and email address is acceptable. For your location this can be your town or city and county, there is no need to include your full postal address. This information should be prominent at the top of your CV.

  • It is not necessary to include your age, date of birth, marital status.

Personal Profile:

  • This section is a short summary about you and who you are and what you can offer your prospective employer. Keep it short, it only needs to be a few sentences. Include key achievements that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Add why you are applying for the role and why you think you should be considered.

Key Skills:

  • You may want to list some of your skills. No more than 4 or 5 skills and keep them relevant to the role you are applying for.

Employment History

  • Add your employment and experience starting with your most recent or current job. Include your job title, employer and dates to and from. Then add key responsibilities, achievements in each role.

  • If have a long work history it is acceptable for you to just add the company, role title and period of employment for older less relevant positions although always include all jobs that you have had.

Education & Qualifications

  • Add your education listing your most recent qualifications first. Include the institution, dates you studied there and your grades.

  • For professional qualifications you may want to add these under a separate heading.

Hobbies & Interests

  • If you have room you may want to add some of your hobbies and interests especially if they are relevant.

References

  • There is no requirement to provide details of your referees on your CV. It is quite accepted to add References – available on request. Or if you don’t have room leave it off.

Formatting:

  • Aim to get your CV on two pages no more than three. Any more and your employer will lose interest.

  • Keep formatting and style simple as your CV needs to be easy to read, not cluttered.

  • Make your headings for each section big and bold and ensure the font is the same throughout.

  • Maybe read your CV out loud or ask a friend to read it. Ensure you check your grammar and spelling before you send.

  • List your skills and accolades. Don’t be generic by reeling off a list of competencies you just need to add an example of how you demonstrate your skills.

 

How to Write a Cover Letter

It is always good practise to include a cover letter with your application even if it doesn’t ask for one.

What to include:

Your cover letter is an opportunity to convince the Hiring Manager you are the right person for the job. Highlight and expand on detail from your CV. Don’t be generic by reeling off a list of competencies or your qualifications, provide examples to demonstrate your skills.

  • A qualification you have or an achievement or an award you have received and how it will benefit your prospective employer.

  • Sales or revenue targets you have met and how you met them.

  • Competencies, an example of your leadership skills or how you work as part of a team.

Read the job description and include an example of something that you excel at and how you will bring your previous experience to the role ensuring you link this with detail as above from your CV.

Formatting your Cover Letter:

Your cover letter should be no more than one page of A4 and should be formatted in the style of a letter using formal opening salutation and formal closing sign off. Structure your paragraphs and remember to insert paragraph spacing. Keep paragraphs to around 6-7 lines and make sure your sentences are not too long. The use of bullet points can help to highlight or make something standout. Check your spelling and grammar, mistakes may indicate a lack of attention to detail. Read it back to yourself to make sure it flows and reads correctly.

Remember these points when writing your letter:

  • Why you want the job.

  • Why you would be good at the job.

  • What you will bring to the job.