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Preparing a CV

Writing the perfect CV

A Curriculum Vitae or CV is a short list of facts about you and your work history, skills and experience.  It is essential when looking for work to have a good CV and is your chance to sell yourself to a prospective employer so spend time getting it right!

At the top of the document should be your name in bold and clearly laid out. Make sure your CV is clearly laid out, avoiding using boxes and photographs. Also use a clear font that is not too big or too small so is easy to read.

Your CV should be positive, neatly typed and show off your achievements, strengths and successes.
First things first, you need to include your personal details. This should consist of name, address, email address, and contact telephone numbers. It is not necessary to include your NI number, marital status and date of birth.

Where possible keep your CV within 2 sides of A4.

Profile

The profile section should be kept to a short paragraph but needs to be interesting enough to ensure the prospective employers read on! Build a picture of you, include your key skills, achievements and personality traits.

Education/qualifications

This section should include you main qualifications i.e. GCSE’s, A Levels, Degrees and any qualifications relevant to your career.

Start with the most recent first before going back in time. Include schools and colleges as well as the qualifications achieved and the dates you obtained them. Short courses e.g. first aid courses should not be added to this section.

Employment history

Probably the most important section of your CV.

This section should also be written most recent first. Include the company name, the position held and the dates of employment. Outline your duties and be sure to highlight any that are relevant to the role you are applying for.

Include a brief explanation if you have any gaps in your CV.

Any employment that is not relevant to the role you are applying for or is over ten years ago just include company name, the position held and the dates of employment without the outline of duties.

Hobbies and interests

This section of your CV is personal preference so is not essential to be included but it is always nice to offer prospective employers in insight in to your interests outside of work. This is also another chance to sell yourself so only include interests on your CV that you are passionate about.

Additional qualifications

Add any additional courses and qualifications that you have achieved such as first aid or health and safety.

References

References do not have to be included on your CV but if you prefer to do so, only use references that can be contacted straight away! Make sure these are previous employers or business associates and do not include personal references unless this is a requirement of the employer. Be careful not to include your current employer as a reference on your CV as they should not be contacted unless they are aware that you are seeking new employment.

If you do not include references on you CV simply state on you CV that 'references are available on request'.

Your CV is now complete!

Take time now to check all the details are correct and it may be an idea to have someone else read over your CV for you. A fresh pair of eyes may pick up any spelling mistakes or typos that you may have missed.

Have one final read through and if you are completely happy you are ready to send out your CV. Good luck!

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