Advice on how to improve your job CV
This document is intended as a guide for candidates who wish to create a CV or improve an existing CV. Please bear in mind it is only a guide based on our experience in the market place. Writing a good CV is not an exact science and there are many variations that can be effective.
It is always a good idea to get into the mind set of not assuming that people will understand abbreviations / internal or industry specific jargon.
Use basic fonts which can be clearly read and are in common use, Arial and Times New Roman are two good choices. We recommend that the font size should be between 11 – 12 and that the colour is kept to black.
Avoid the temptation to use fancy graphics, tables, pictures or bright colours. It’s worth remembering that not all computers have the latest version of Word and keeping it simple will ensure more chance of backwards compatibility.
Try and get a trusted friend / relative to proof read the document for spelling or grammatical errors.
Information you will need to get started
- Contact details
- Qualifications with dates, subjects studied, grades and establishment where they were undertaken.
- Details of any professional memberships
- Dates of employment – where possible including the months and years.
- Key achievements (facts and figures) in each role – maybe worth looking at old reviews / reports.
Laying out your CV
We would suggest that you start with your name and contact details at the top of the CV – you should include landline, mobile, email and home address where possible.
It is usually a good idea to write a short profile which gives information as to your current situation and aspirations for the future.
Starting with the most recent first and working back, quote subjects studied, dates, grades and establishment studied at. For education there will be different layouts depending on your level of education and work experience, for example if you are degree qualified you might want to state that you have 9 GCSE’s A-C grade but might not want to list every subject because employers will look at your degree. For candidates who are qualified to GCSE level you might want to list the subjects and the grades, unless you have a lot of experience in your particular field and you feel this supersedes qualifications. In this case you may want to list your education after the career history section.
Bullet points of significant achievements throughout your career – quote facts and figure where possible.
Starting with your most recent employer first and working backwards, you need to include:-
- Dates with months, job title, name of company and a short description of what the company do.
- Then you need to state your responsibilities and achievements in that role. If you have had a lot of jobs then it’s a good idea to give the most information about your current and previous few positions. As a general rule the further you go back the less information is required. If you are a mature, experienced candidate then you can summarise some of your jobs under an ‘early career’ sub-section and just give the dates, names and job titles.
TRAINING / SKILLS
You may want to include details of a few relevant courses / training that you have undertaken. You can also include/ mention computer packages that you are competent with.
List interests – no need to be too flash – keep them honest as ‘small talk’ based on these might be made at interview.
- Marital status
- Driving licence