A CV is a short, written summary of your skills, achievements and experience. It is an opportunity for you to promote yourself to a potential employer.
What should you include in a CV? There are several different ways to write a CV, here are the basics that you should include:
You should include your name, email, contact phone number and address. These are clearly presented at the top of your CV (There’s no need to add CV or curriculum vitae at the top). You can leave out details like your age, date of birth, marital status and nationality, these are not required. If you have a profile on a professional social media site like LinkedIn, you can add a link to it on your CV. If your email address is not appropriate, consider creating a new one for your job applications.
A personal statement, or summary of your skills and experience, is an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. It should be a few short lines explaining who you are, what skills and experience you possess, what you are able to offer, and what you are looking for. Aim to prove why you are suitable in one short and succinct paragraph.
Include details of the software and IT systems that you have experience of using. It is a good idea to detail how proficient you are with each package, for example basic, intermediate or advanced.
This section should include all your relevant work experience, with the most recent first. You can include work placements and volunteering as well as paid jobs you have held. You should include your dates of employment, the name of the organisation you worked for, your job title, and a brief outline of your key duties and responsibilities (it is a good idea to use bullet points for each of these). You should include enough detail to enable someone reading it to understand what your role involved, but not too much that the reader loses interest. You could include details of any achievements in each job, and you could include some brief details on what the business does. Try to avoid using acronyms or abbreviations, and do not use slang words.
Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here. You should include dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved.
This section can be added after your personal profile if you are early on in your career or if you do not have much work experience.
Hobbies and interests
You don’t always need to include hobbies & interests in your CV but relevant ones that show you have skills that are relevant to the job could make you stand out from the crowd. This section is useful if you do not have much work experience.
Remember employers get lots of CVs to look at and have to decide quickly who they are going to interview, a good CV will get you to an interview.
Your CV is usually the first contact that you will have with a business, so it is important to remember that first impressions count. Keep your CV to between one and three pages long and always ask a friend or family member to check it for you, they may spot spelling mistakes or errors that you have overlooked. Make sure you use active verbs like created, analysed and organised, and avoid generic phrases like ‘team player’ and ‘multi-tasker’, instead provide examples that demonstrate this.
The National Careers Service has some great information on How to write a CV.
Are you a young person planning for your post-16 training and education journey? If so, use the CV writer on our partner website >Log on | move on> to create a CV. You can also access a wealth of help, support and information on finding a career.
Are you an adult living in the East Riding? If so, visit East Riding Adult learning and employment support to see what help is available to you.
Are you an adult living in Hull? If so, visit Hull City Council Training and adult education support or Hull City Council Jobs and careers support to see what help is available to you.
There are lots of websites offering free CV templates and examples CVs. Here are some to get you started:
Hear advice from local company Cranswick on CV writing, application forms and personal statements at Hire Me on YouTube.