How to create a professional CV

9th April 2019

A CV is your chance to show an employer you have the skills and experience needed for a role. However, the way you present your CV can have a huge impact on whether your CV is even read, let alone gets you an interview.

DO

  • Construct your CV with your prospective employer in mind. Look at the job specification and think about what the job involves, what the employer needs and how you suit the role.
  • Tailor your CV to the job. It’s common to send a CV to multiple employers at once to save time. But if the CV isn’t tailored to each role, they will likely ignore it.
  • Make your CV clear, neat and tidy. Get somebody to check your spelling and grammar. Your CV should be easy to read with a space between each section and plenty of white space. Use left-justified text as it’s easiest to read, using black text on good quality white or cream paper.
  • Place the most important information up-front. Put experience and education achievements in reverse chronological order.
  •  Include experience and interests that might be of use to the employer. IT skills, voluntary work, foreign language competency, driving skills, leisure interests that demonstrate team skills and organisation/leadership.
  • Put your name and email address on every page – in case the pages of your CV get separated.
  • Make use of the internet for sample CVs and CV templates – to help maximise the impact of your CV and to get inspiration for layout and tone.

DON’T

  • Hand-write your CV. This looks unprofessional.
  • Include information which may be viewed negatively.
  • Include anything that might discriminate against you – such as date of birth, marital status, race, gender or disability.
  • Include a photo unless requested.
  • Include salary information and expectations.
  • Make your CV more than two pages long.
  • Use jargon, acronyms or technical terms – unless essential. Don’t assume the reader will know what it means.
  • Lie – employers have ways of checking what you put in is true and may sack you if they take you on and find out you’ve lied to them.

More career advice and inspiration here.

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