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CV Advice

A CV needs to be clear, concise, informative and most of all promote you. If you spend time creating a professional CV then you should receive a good response from many companies.

A CV should be between 1 and 3 pages long on white A4 paper. Keep sentences and paragraphs short and use past tense. It should be easy to read and bullet points used where possible. Avoid fancy fonts, overuse of graphics and coloured paper.

Ensure that the spelling is correct. Check it carefully and ask at least two people to check and read through your finished document.

We have put together some suggestions to help you impress employers on paper. As much as you intend to at interview stage.

Contact Details

Ensure you include full name, email addresses, home and mobile telephone numbers.

Personal Profile

This is an optional part of a CV. Tailor the profile specifically to the position, use key words and terms that are relevant.

This section can be best when punchy bullet points of your 3-6 most impressive achievements are listed.

You need to present yourself in terms of your skills, strengths, experience and knowledge. Illustrate skills gained from successful activities and highlight your communication, team working, problem solving and management skills - be objective and positive.

Education

Include names and dates of further education institutes you attended along with subjects and grades achieved. Reduce detail as the qualifications become less recent or important. State if qualifications are ongoing.

Additional information

You might not think this area is important but it is an important part of your CV. You will need to include any Professional Institutes you are a member of; any relevant health and safety certificates held; identify your computer software skills and any languages you are up to speed with.

Employment history

Present your employment history in reverse chronological order with your current employer first.

Give enough relevant information about your previous employers and projects to interest the reader. The best candidate CVs summarise a wealth of knowledge and experience in a concise and engaging fashion.

Employment dates should be made clear and give ideally month and year. Any gaps should be explained. Previous employer names should be correct and your position held within that company should be made clear. All job roles undertaken within one employer should be broken down with dates.

List your duties, responsibilities and the reporting structure you worked within and any unusual features of your role or project or experience. You need to make the most of your abilities and experience, but remember to be factual.

Hobbies and interests

This paragraph will help prospective employers with their assessment of you as an individual. Include any charity and voluntary work you undertake plus any social activities.

This should be kept as concise as possible.

References

It is adequate to state ‘References Available on Request’ at the end. However, if you have already made enquiries and know who is happy to be a referee, it is worth adding them now.

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