Sell yourself to prospective employers
Why you use a CV
It’s your first chance to promote yourself to an employer. A good CV will get you to an interview. Use it to apply for advertised jobs, or to introduce yourself to employers you’d like to work for. They may have unadvertised vacancies
How to start
Gather useful information like:
- the job advert
- the job description
- a person specification
- company details
- your qualifications
- details about your past employers
- details about your past jobs or volunteering experience
- evidence of training courses you’ve completed
You can use this information to show how your skills and experience match what the employer wants. You should tailor your CV to suit the job description and the company.
If the job you’re applying for does not have a job description, you can use our job profiles to help. They’ll tell you the skills you’ll need and the typical things you’ll do in that job.
The perfect CV layout is one that begins with all the ‘need-to-know’ data, such as name and contact information. Make sure they ‘re at the top, bold, and quick to read. Don’t forget to check your phone numbers and email addresses to make sure they ‘re right.
Your personal statement and cover letter should be written in the present tense, for example: “I am flexible and find it easy to work fluidly on several projects at once.” It should sound current and direct.
Your work history should be written in the past-tense, as it is no longer current: “I was responsible for analysing product market trends”.
We recommend that your whole CV is written in first-person (me, I) so it sounds both personal and direct.
One in three job seekers will destroy their CV with a typo or spelling mistake, so after you’ve done writing your CV, check it for errors. It’s helpful to always get someone else’s help to review it carefully, too. This way, you’ll get the help of a second pair of eyes to spot any CV mistakes you may have made.
In general, HR managers are pressed for time. Combine this with the number of CVs that they’ll received for each opening, and you won’t be left with a long time to impress.
Please attempt to limit your CV to a maximum of two pages, following the above structure. You will improve the readability of your CV by writing it in simple sentences, using the headers for each section (work experience, skills, ambitions, etc.) and keeping information in bullet points and short statements.
When you upload your CV, make sure it is saved as a PDF file. This would make it look a lot more polished and is usually the preferred format.