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25th Jan 2013

How to... Make the most out of your CV

Anne Richardson

There may be times when applying for a job that you'll be asked to send in your CV rather than filling out an application form. Anne Richardson from the Department for Employment and Learning's Careers Service offers top tips:

A Curriculum Vitae or CV is a document detailing your skills, qualifications and experiences. It should be a typed formal document and no more than two sides of A4 with the information on it provided in a neat and organised manner.

You should provide your information in sections. Firstly your personal details, your name, address, postcode, telephone number, mobile number and email address.

Next you should write a personal statement, a paragraph detailing your strengths and unique selling points. Your educational history and qualifications, employment history, other skills, hobbies and interests and finally referees should follow.

When providing details of your education or employment history start with the most recent first, as your most recent job or qualification is likely to be the one most relevant to the new position to which you are applying.

If possible one of your referees should be your most recent employer. It is standard practice to provide two. It is good etiquette to ask for people’s permission to act as your referee before giving their name to a potential employer. For each referee you should provide, their name, their position, their business address (if that is how they know you) the postcode, telephone number and email address. The latter two are very important as it means it will be possible to get a reference back quickly.

You should adapt information on a CV according to the position you are applying for. CVs should also be updated regularly as your qualifications, experiences and skills will change.

Always get someone else to read through your CV. You can bring your CV into one of our Careers Offices where one of our careers advisers would be happy to give an impartial and professional opinion on the structure and content.

If you need further information, please go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/careers where you will find the contact details for your nearest Careers Office and careers adviser. This site also carries extensive information on CVs as well as useful education, skills and training information. You can also contact the Careers Service by phone on 0300 200 7820.

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