Helpful hints to write the perfect CV

It's hard to get started with a clean up or draft of your CV. We suggest using this format initially when compiling your draft CV.

Name and contact details

It’s handy to have your email and mobile numbers on your CV just in case the employer needs to contact you.

Age isn’t important and not including it will minimise any unconscious bias the employer may have for a particular age group.

Having your address is OK as it enables them to see if you’re local. This can often be an added benefit.

Photo

Many people have a stronger unconscious bias towards others when they see their faces before their CV’s merits. If you do decide to include a photo, ensure it’s appropriate and for most roles you can leave out your cat and mountain bike. Smile and keep your photo professional.

Interests/personal statement

This is a chance for you to list a few of the things you really like doing such as exploring the world, walking your dog or baking huge cakes and sharing them with your workmates. This is where you can show a bit of your personality.

Skills

List your skills with examples of you using them when they’re applicable to the role you’re applying for.

Include tools and/or programs if you’re particularly proficient in them when you need to use them for the role, also make sure you mention this in your CV.

Employment history

Give your most recent role first and include the title of the role, company you worked for and the dates you worked for them. There’s no need to go back into the Dark Ages and elaborate on every single role you’ve had since school but it’s a great idea to detail the last 3 or so jobs you’ve had or, the recent ones that are relevant to the role you’re applying for.

For the main roles, bullet point your responsibilities and highlight key achievements.

It’s also often a good idea to include your reason for leaving this role, especially if you left to travel, have a family or changed roles to gain more experience.

If you have any gaps in your employment history, it’s worth including an explanation to ensure there is no doubt in their mind about what you were up to during this time.

Qualifications

Start with your most recent qualification. Don’t go back 30 years listing all the courses you did, particularly if it’s not relevant to the job you’re applying for. It’s a good idea to include courses you’ve done in the past three years.

Include the name of the course, qualification, institution you attended and years of attendance.

These qualifications can be from all sorts of institutions such as high schools, polytechs, PTEs, Universities or other education providers.

Referees

Often people leave these out until they find themselves at the reference checking stage of the process, so it’s up to you. Many have a line saying:

‘Referees’ contact details available upon request’.

Alternatively, if you wish to include these details, list 2-3 who you think will give your prospective employer a good understanding of your qualities and why you’d suit the job.

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