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CV PREPARATION GUIDE - back to CV and interview advice
What is the purpose of a CV?
- It is a tool to be used by you as an introduction to an employer or recruitment company. It is your way of getting noticed.
- It is a guide for an interviewer.
How long should a CV be?
- One to two pages. No longer than two pages – an interviewer does not have the time to read all of the information.
How should I lay out my CV?
- Part one: Name and contact details.
- List your home address, home telephone and mobile number.
- Only give your work telephone number if it is appropriate to be contacted at work.
- Give your email address if you have one. If using your work email, make sure that you are comfortable with who can access it.
- If you are moving or changing countries, give both your temporary and permanent contact details.
- Part Two: Career history.
- You should start with your most recent position first.
- Your responsibilities and achievements should be in bullet point format – this makes the CV easier to read. Paragraph format makes it difficult to find information.
- List achievements that are measurable (ie: increased profit from X to Y, reduced staff turnover from X% to Y%)
- Give figures where ever possible.
- You do not want to write more than five bullet points p/job and only for the most recent three jobs. All others should be described briefly.
- If you have had more than one position within a single company, list each position but do not be repetitive in the description of your responsibilities or achievements.
- Part Three: Education, Qualifications and Training.
- Start with the most recent, industry related qualifications.
- Training courses should be listed separately and include all company and statutory training courses.
- Part Four: Interests.
- List your personal details, such as Marital Status.
- Nationality and language skills are important when applying internationally.
- You can’t always be at work and should show that you have a balance between work related and non-work related activities. List your interests and hobbies, including any sports, clubs or associations that you participate in.
What else do I need to know?
- Don’t exaggerate from the facts. Be prepared for an interviewer to question you on ALL of the contents of your CV.
- Use a clear font/type-set. A fancy font may look pretty, but is often inappropriate.
- Always proof read a CV for mistakes or errors. It is often helpful to ask a family member or friend to check your CV too.
- Use good quality and plain paper.
And postal code
Country (if international)
|Home telephone number
Work telephone number (if appropriate)
Mobile telephone number
Current or most recent position (Date,
including month & year)
Employer, Location (Country if internationally)
One line description of operation/company which may include: size of operation/unit, number of staff, revenue, type of product.
- List two or three of your main responsibilities
- Do not list duties that would generally be expected at your level
- List two or three achievements
- Be proud of your achievements and ensure that you list those that are fundamental.
Previous Position (Date -including month & year)
Previous Employer, Location (Country if internationally)
Give a brief overview of the company.
- In bullet point format list an overall maximum of five responsibilities and achievements.
Your career history should include positions over the past 10 years. The past three positions are generally the most relevant and any other positions should be mentioned briefly.
EDUCATION, QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
- List your professional qualifications (including university/college/institution, dates, course and results), starting with the most recent first.
- Include all industry related qualifications (ie: GNVQ and BTEC).
- List your secondary education qualifications. Do not list individual subjects, but as a total number of qualifications (ie: 3 A’Levels, 7 GCSEs).
- List any training you have received whilst at work and that is relevant to your career development. List dates for statutory training (ie: RIPHH, IEHO), but not for company courses.
Nationality (especially if applying internationally)
Languages (not including your mother tongue)
Interests: Write a brief overview of your external interests, including any clubs or associations that you are active in.