How to write a CV
Your CV is simply an overview of your professional experience and qualifications in relation to a job opportunity. However, knowing how to write a CV so that yours stands out, requires a little time and thought to get right.
Firstly how you tailor your CV depends on your experience and the field or industry you are in. Secondly your CV will vary from one job application to the next. However, to get you started, we have answered some commonly asked questions to get you on your way.
What should I include on my CV?
Prospective employers are busy, and recruitment is time consuming, so try and keep your CV to a maximum of two pages. Think about the jobs you are applying for and include only your relevant skills and experience.
Start with your name and contact details at the top, followed by a short profile of three or four sentences. This provides an overview of what you are about and what you have to offer.
This should be followed by your Career History, then your Education and any professional bodies you are a member of and then finally any Voluntary Work you do and your Interests.
How much detail should I include on my CV?
Bearing in mind that you are aiming for a two-page document, you will need to either give more detail about your limited experience if you are just starting out or be selective and edit your experience if you are more established in your career.
Always keep in mind who your reader is. Think about the level of detail they are interested in and provide them with that. If you remember this, you will include enough information to demonstrate you’re the right candidate for the job, but not so much that you dilute your eligibility for the role.
Is it bad to include periods of no work on my CV?
There is nothing wrong with including the months you were out of work along with a description of how you spent the time. Perhaps you went travelling or worked on a house project or looked after a relative. Whatever it might be, it is better to include a one liner than to leave gaps.
Which font and font size should I use?
There are no hard and fast rules about which font or font size you should use, however, we would recommend Calibri in size eleven or twelve for the main body of your text, with bold headings in font size fourteen. Again, it is about how easy it is to read and what impression you are trying to make.
Should I use bullet points?
Yes. Bullet points are a reader friendly way of highlighting your responsibilities in each of your jobs and far easier to digest than reading paragraphs. As you write your CV keep in mind this is your CV and not your autobiography.
Keep each bullet point to one line. This will stop you rambling and adding too much unnecessary information. You should also try not to exceed seven bullet points for each job. This should be achievable if you are succinct with your language.
Lastly, remember that bullet points do not require full stops. For each bullet point make sure you are consistent with whichever tense you choose.
Ultimately, when considering how to write a CV, you must also consider how you want your CV to be read.
Hopefully the tips above are a useful guide to getting you started on your CV. If, however you’d like us to review and update your CV, you can find the CV services we offer at https://peakperformancehr.co.uk/career-coaching.
For more information to arrange an initial free chat, please get in contact with us through our contact form at https://peakperformancehr.co.uk/contact