4 Tips for writing a great CV 

Remember this: Your CV is a sales document which must sell your skills and explain how they are going to add value to your employer.  
Your CV should be a summary of your work history, academic, and other achievements. Highlight your education, qualifications and previous employment that sell "you" to a potential employer. Emphasise core skills, detail your key strengths, showcase your experience, and its relevance to the job you are applying for. Here are four key ways to write a great CV. 

1. Structure 

This is an extremely important part of your CV. It should be a clear, easy-to-follow structure that the employer can read easily and not have to re-read to make sense of it. A good structure is the following: Name and contact details; Personal profile; Key skills and achievements; Employment history; Education and qualifications. We’ve written more detail about each section below: 
Contact details 
This is the very first part of your CV. It should be positioned at the top of the page where it’s clear and easy for the employer to find. Don’t title your CV with ‘CV’ or ‘Curriculum Vitae’ as it’s a waste of space. Instead, use your full name as the title and write your contact details underneath it. Your contact details should include your hometown, phone number and email address. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile (but make sure it’s up to date!). 
Personal profile 
A short paragraph that sits under your contact details, giving an overview of who you are, your key strengths, your career goals and experience. Keep it short and sweet. 
Employment history 
Outline your previous jobs, internships and work experience. Place the most recent information first and then work backwards (reverse chronological order). For each position state your job title, the employer, the dates of employment (month and year), and a line that summarises your job role. Underneath this line, bullet point key responsibilities, skills and achievements gained within the role. Keep it concise. If you have years of experience, reduce the detail of old or irrelevant roles. If you have positions from more than 10 years ago, remove them. 
(Please ensure all past jobs are written in the past tense.) 
This should have a similar structure to your employment history. Place your most recent education first, and list everything in reverse chronological order. Include the name of the institutions, dates you were there, and any qualifications and grades you achieved. 

2. Consistency 

It’s important that your CV is consistent in every possible way. It should be consistent with your LinkedIn profile if you have one, have consistent fonts and word sizing, and a consistent layout. Make it easy for the recruiter to read everything with ease. For example, if you write in the third person, do so throughout the whole document. If you need to update your CV, ensure all updates are consistent. Finally, use easy to follow headings to aid clarity. 
The look and consistency of your CV is crucial, done well it will draw the potential employer in, done badly it will annoy them! 

3. Give Examples 

Instead of making generic statements about your past roles, such as ‘achieved good sales with lots of customers’, give examples of what you did and why it worked. Statistics and facts are an effective way of ‘wowing’ a potential employer. You could say ‘achieved [x number] of sales within a five-month period, dealing with [x number] of customer accounts’, which is then more specific and an interesting example that highlights your strengths. 
Top Tip - it is crucial that there is evidence in your CV of you having the skills the job requires. 

4. Proofread and feedback 

Once you’re satisfied that your CV is selling you and your skills effectively, is relevant to the job you are applying for and clearly sets out a "sales" case for you being offered an interview, proofread it. Look for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and inconsistencies. Then ask someone else to read it. Ask them for honest feedback about what works and what doesn’t. This is a great way of polishing your CV and making it the best it can be. 
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