Writing a CV can be difficult, especially if you’re starting from scratch…
There’s no magic formula for writing a perfect CV, and not every employer wants to see the same things. However, it should always be clearly formatted, scannable – so recruiters can read it quickly – and tailored to the role you’re applying for.
If you’re having trouble making a start, we’ve prepared some simple rules on how to write your CV:
What should I include on my CV?
You don’t always need to include everything that we’ve prepared below and keep in mind that there’s a lot of information to squeeze onto 2 pages so bullet-points will be fine.
Personal details: This is super simple. Name, date of birth, and contact details. A phone number and email address will suffice. Make sure they’re visible and up to date!
Personal statement: This tells the recruiter who you are and what you have to offer. Try to keep this to one paragraph or even just a sentence.
For example: ‘I’m a mid-level copywriter and content strategist with a specialism in user experience. Skilled in all aspects of copywriting, content design and research with strong communication skills’.
Work experience: This is where you put all of your relevant work experience. Include your job title, the name of the organisation, how long you spent in the post, and your key responsibilities. This section has a tendency to get long and repetitive, so summarise where you can.
Achievements: Certificates, awards, and qualifications outside of education. Not everyone has these – and that’s okay – but if you’ve got it, show it off.
Education: Your education qualifications should be listed here, along with dates, the type of qualification and the grade you achieved. Start with the most recent and work backwards. No need to mention any qualifications before GCSE.
Hobbies and interests: This is sometimes a nice way to finish a CV. It lets the recruiter (and the interviewers, if you get that far) get a feel of what you’re like on a personal level before they meet you. Two sentences is usually enough, tell them some of the things you like doing in your spare time and something that interests you.
How should I layout my CV?
People like to say that first impressions are everything. Well, your CV is your first impression with an employer so you need to make it count.
Make sure you do the following:
- Keep it short and to the point – 2 sides of A4 maximum.
- Choose a professional font so that your CV is easy to read – no one ever got hired using Wingdings.
- Put it into a logical order – the one we have provided above will work fine – and use clear, bold titles for each section
- Experience and education should be in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent experience and achievements come first and you work backwards
- Check your grammar and spelling thoroughly
As we said at the start, not every employer wants to see the same thing. Make sure you tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for, the job description is always helpful for this.