CV Advice

The following is an example of what a CV should include:

Personal details

These are traditionally at the top of your resume and should include your name, address, home / mobile telephone numbers and email address.

Personal profile or summary

Before you begin writing ask yourself the following questions:

  • Firstly what work experience does the vacancy require?
  • Secondly how can you best highlight your achievements and experience in these areas?

Now write a brief statement and description of yourself and your career achievements, include your career objectives, aims and what you consider to be your strongest personal traits. Also explain what sort of role you are looking for and also why.

Career history

Give a breakdown of your employment history, starting with the most recent or present. Include the following information:

  • Employers name.
  • Location where you were based.
  • Employment dates.
  • Job title.
  • Duties and responsibilities

In it list those skill sets and career achievements which you feel are relevant to your industry or to the job that you are applying for. To emphasis particular keywords consider making them bold or underlining them.

Details of present and previous employment

If you have a long career history then only mention in detail the most recent ones, there is no real need to explain in detail what you did 20 years ago. There is no need to go into lengthy descriptions of your previous employment. Instead use bullet points to list key responsibilities and duties that relate to the vacancy you are applying for. Try to keep them as brief, relevant and simple as possible, remembering to highlight any keywords.

Areas of expertise and work experience

Focus on showing key data and facts that can benefit the employer. If possible give examples of your achievements. Focus on showing that you are an accomplished hard worker who can bring many positive attributes to your new place of employment.

Academic qualifications

List your academic qualifications including the certificates, dates, locations, colleges or universities and grades.

References

This section is usually placed at the end of your CV and to save valuable space should just be a short sentence saying 'References available on request'. There is no need to include the details of your references. If required you can supply these later on.

The following should not be included in your CV:

Photos

There is no need to put this in a CV or to attach a photo. It is not standard practice, can backfire on you and it also takes up valuable space.

Your failures

Your CV must be a positive document, so avoid putting in examples of negative experiences at work or in your personal or academic life.

Unusual fonts

Do not use unusual fonts, very bright colours or cartoon figures in your CV. These will not grab the readers’ attention, look amatuerish and will create an immediate bad impression of you.

Unnecessary headings

Save space on your CV by not putting in headings and titles that are not necessary.

Leisure activities

Not really advisable as space is at a premium there is no need to give details about your hobbies, unless of course they are related to the job you are applying for. For instance if you are applying for a management position then if you were the manager or coach of your local football team you should mention it.

Your health

There is no real reason to mention this unless you have a medical condition that can affect your ability to do a job.

Religion, sexuality or political affiliations

In your CV there is no need for you to include your religion, sexual orientation or what political party you voted for.

Reasons for leaving your previous jobs

Again no real reason to tell people why you left your previous employment, if an employer wants to know they will ask you at the interview stage.