How to write a CV
When it comes to looking for work, your CV is paramount. Do it well and you will have an interview in no time, but if you are wrong, you may be rejected after the rejection. Each CV is different since it wants to show why its skillset makes it suitable for the position you are applying for at the time, but they all follow a similar structure.
This guide will show you how to write an excellent CV that is ready for and beyond.
What is a CV?
Your CV, short for curriculum vitae, is a personal marketing document used to be sold to potential employers. You must tell them about yourself, your professional history and your skills, abilities and achievements. In short, you should highlight why you are the best person for the job.
A CV is required when applying for a job. In addition to your CV, employers may also require a cover letter and a completed application form.
What to include in your CV
While the structure of a CV is flexible and adapts to its unique set of skills and experiences, there are particular sections that employers expect to see in their CV independently.
Here are the sections that you should include in your CV:
Name, professional title and contact information.
The first part of your CV, located at the top of the page, must contain your name, professional title and contact information. Under no circumstances should your CV be titled with “curriculum vitae” or “CV”, as it is a waste of valuable space. Treat your name as the title instead.
When it comes to your contact information, your email address and phone number (s) are essential. Once upon a time, it was customary to include your full address in your CV. Today, you simply need to list your city and county.
If you wish, you can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile in this section, but only if it is updated!
Here is an example of what your name, professional title and contact information would look like:
First Name Last Name | Job title
Location: City, County
Telephone: 01234 567890
A personal profile, also known as a personal statement, professional objective and professional profile, is one of the most important aspects of your CV. It is a short paragraph that is just below your name and contact information that gives prospective employers an overview of who you are and what it is.
You must adapt your profile to each job you request, highlighting specific qualities that match the position. Try to keep your personal statement brief and sweet, and no more than a few sentences. To make the most of this section, you should try to address the following:
Who are you?
What can you offer the company?
What are your professional goals?
For more information on how to write your personal statement, it is worth consulting our complete guide.
Work experience and history
Your employment history section gives you the opportunity to describe your previous jobs, internships and work experience.
List your experience in reverse chronological order, since your recent role is the most relevant for the employer.
When listing each job, indicate the title of your job, the employer, the dates you worked and a line that summarizes the paper. Then, point out your main responsibilities, skills and achievements, and reinforce each point with verbs and powerful figures to support each claim and show its impact.
It helps to choose the most relevant tasks for the job you are requesting, especially if it is a long list. If you have many years of experience, you can reduce the detail of old or irrelevant roles. If you have positions more than 10 years ago, you can delete them.
Education and qualifications
Like your experience section, your education should appear in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions and the dates you were there, followed by the qualifications and qualifications you obtained.
If you recently left education, you can write your degree, levels A or GCSE (or equivalent) as follows:
Name of the institution – Dates assisted (from – to)
Qualification / subject – Degree
If you have a degree, you can list some of the most relevant modules, tasks or projects below.
For professionals who are a little more advanced in their careers, or who have many certificates in their repertoire, you can present your qualifications in this way:
Qualification, degree – Institution – Year
There are a number of additional sections that can strengthen your CV and highlight your skills. Here are some that you can include if you have space:
Key skills: if you are writing a functional CV or have some skills that you want to show to the immediate employer insert a key skills section underneath your personal profile. You should aim to detail four to five abilities at most.