How to write a CV

How to write a CV

Here at Working Solutions we must see hundred's of CV's every month - but how do you write a good one?

The purpose of your CV is primarily to sell you and your abilities to a prospective employer: it is not an autobiography! Use it to draw attention to your strengths, competencies and achievements. Your aim is to get in front of an employer at an interview.

1.  Consider your audience...

When writing your CV, it's important to consider your audience. The average recruiter and/or hiring manager sees hundreds of CVs from qualified candidates. CVs begin to look and sound the same. Using dull wording weakens your CV. State what you can do and why they should talk to you. Include your educational and occupational background and explain your ability to perform the job for which you are applying. Indicate your potential for future success by evaluating your past successes.


Follow these rules:

Keep it simple: don't clutter it with irrelevant facts word process it, ensure it is free of errors and duplications. Keep it honest. Start points with purposeful verbs such as: Achieved, Gained, Learned, Served, Responsible for, Arranged, Encouraged etc.


2.  The basic elements...

Personal Details - Your name, address, phone numbers and email address.


Personal profile - This is your opportunity to 'sell' yourself. Make it clear, concise and dynamic. State your skills and competencies; what you can offer as opposed to what you want. Make frequent use of active verbs, ie: Achieved, Set up, Managed, Attained, Responsible for, Led.


Achievements - List up to 5 achievements, remember you want to add value to a company. Define and explain the skills like this:

Customer Service: Developed Customer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to enhance customer experience for new and existing customers, which led to a 3% increase in renewals and a 2.5% increase in value of units sold. Use bullet points to emphasise the key successes in your life.

Education - Emphasise the highest levels achieved by showing grades (and some detail if relevant).If you have been in the job market for less than two years, give equal attention to other achievements while at University etc. Captain of the debating team / student union rep /set designer for the university play -all show you to be enthusiastic, a self-starter and full of initiative.

Career Summary - Focus on the skills and experience that you have from present and previous employment that support your skills list above. List your employment history in reverse order, starting with your most recent job first. Include full and part-time jobs, academic research, work placements and volunteer work. Use bullets to list accomplishments, skills and duties. Do not leave any gaps in time. If you were not working for a while, state why and what you did during that time. If you are looking for your first job, list any RELEVANT work experience, paid or unpaid.

Qualifications and Training Courses attended - List all significant training courses that you have participated in. Where they were in-house make this clear, and indicate grades where appropriate (eg Credit, Distinction etc.). Forward thinking employers are looking for candidates who take responsibility for their own personal development - no training is a waste of time. IT languages or software that you are experienced in using should also be briefly listed.

Activities and awards - List professional, academic or community awards or organisation memberships (especially if you've held a position of responsibility). If you have more than one point in a specific field e.g. music or sport, then give sub-headings so it is easier to read.

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