This is one of the most common questions among jobseekers: how to write a CV.
In this post, I’m going to gloss over the key sections of what a CV should contain and how it should be laid out, and later on, I’ll go into more depth about each segment.
Name and contact details
You’re probably looking at your screen now like, “ummm… Well done, Captain Obvious!” But actually, you will be surprised at the amount of CVs I have looked at that do not contain any contact details. #Mindblown, right? On a number of occasions, these CVs have actually been really good and would have been contacted for a telephone interview, but there was no way for me to even get hold of them! *Sad face*.
So please, remember to include at least an email address and telephone number!
Some recruiters might say this is optional, but personally I would urge everyone to include a personal statement on their CV, especially if no cover letter has been submitted. A personal statement goes right at the top, underneath your contact details, and tells me a little bit about you, your career aspirations, and what key skills you can offer to the role.
In this section, you need to include all of your relevant work experience. Remember to include the company, your job title, and the dates in which you were employed too. For each job you list, list some of your key responsibilities in a few bullet points. Don’t forget to ALWAYS write your CV in reverse chronological order!!
If you’ve got any key achievements you want to shout about, then this is where you do it! Obviously you need to make sure they are relevant to the job, because whilst you might hold a gold medal for most chocolate biscuits dunked and eaten in one minute (I know you don’t, because that’s my accolade!), if it can’t add any value to you doing the job you’ve applied for, it’s probably best to leave it out.
Next, you’ll want to list your academic background, also in reverse chronological order. It’s a good idea to name the school/college/university along with the dates and the grades achieved for each one along with any achievements which you can list below. You don’t need to go right back through all of your education though, GSCE level or equivalent is the recommended minimum.
If you’re currently a student however, your CV will need to be laid out slightly differently. Soon I will be writing an article covering this, but if you need help with something urgently, please feel free to contact me directly.
Is it essential for you to include hobbies and interest? Mmm no, but personally I enjoy reading this section as it helps me get to know you better! Listing your hobbies and interest can be beneficial, especially if a particular hobby is relevant to your job. For example, if you’re applying for a mechanics job and you enjoy tinkering with cars, you should absolutely include that in your CV!