How to write a successful CV before applying for a job

How to write a successful CV before applying for a job

Getting a CV up to scratch is an important part of the job searching process

A good curriculum vitae – or CV – is vital when looking for work, especially when there are numerous candidates for the same job, so what should it contain?
There is no perfect template, and each sector may require a different emphasis on a different aspect of the content, such as career history or qualifications.

However, experts suggest there are some basic rules on how a CV should be written and the information that should be included.

Overall, a CV should be neat and typed if possible. Most libraries now have public computers, if you do not have your own.
It should also be short, usually no more than two sides of A4. It should be positive, stressing achievements and strengths, and make a good impression in a clear and positive way.

The basic format for a CV includes:

  • Personal details, including name, address, phone number, email address and possibly any professional social media presence. You no longer need to include your date of birth, owing to age discrimination rules
  • Career history, starting with your most recent job first. Include dates and temporary or voluntary jobs if appropriate
  • A personal profile which sells yourself and your qualities, tailored towards the job you are applying for
  • Achievements from previous jobs that are relevant
  • Qualifications and training from previous jobs, with the most recent first
  • Interests, if they are relevant and especially if the skills or teamwork concerned are relevant for the job
  • Any extra information, such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history, such as caring duties
  • References, ideally two or more and including a recent employer

A straightforward font and formatting is required – and the spelling must be checked and checked again. Poor spelling is the quickest way of getting a rejection; one should check five or six adverts for a particular job and then use the common requirements to mould their CV.

“Many people think that one CV will fit all applications, but it needs to be a much targeted document for the role they are going for. Do some research so you understand what employers are looking for.”
NOTE: Each CV needs to be tailored towards your own skills, experiences and your job application.

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