Pete Wyatt Recruitment

CV Writing

The purpose of your CV is primarily to market you and your abilities to a prospective employer. Basically, employers want a CV that states what the candidate can do, how effective they will be, and why they should talk to them. Traditionally a CV includes your educational and occupational background and explains your ability to perform the job for which you are applying. A second important use is to indicate your potential for future successes. Think of a CV as a shorthand sketch, not an autobiography. If it works, you will have the opportunity later in a personal interview to go into detail about your background.

Regardless of the structure you use, follow these rules:

  • Keep it simple and don't clutter it with irrelevant fact
  • Make it legible and free of errors
  • Avoid poor duplications
  • Keep it honest
  • Start points with purposeful verbs such as achieved, gained, learned, served, responsible for, arranged, encouraged, etc.
  • State where you can be contacted

The most common order of the basic elements in a CV is as follows:

Include your name, address and phone numbers.

Mini Personal Profile

This is your opportunity to "sell" yourself. Make it clear, concise and dynamic. State what you are offering as opposed to what you want.

Restrict your educational details to the highest levels achieved. If your highest qualification is a HND, then the number of 'O' levels/GCSE's you achieved is not really relevant.

Work Experience                                                                                                                                                     Start with your most recent position first. Include full and part-time jobs, academic research, work placements and volunteer work. Include start and end dates. Use bullets to list accomplishments, skills and duties. (Bullets have no punctuation at the end and you should use an absolute maximum of six in one list). Do not leave any gaps in time. If you were not working for a while, state why and what you did during that time.

Activities & Awards

List professional, academic or community awards or organisation memberships (especially if you have held a position of responsibility) computer languages or software. If you have more than one point in a specific field e.g. music or sport, then give sub-headings so it is easier to read.

Provide these on a separate list and leave this element off your CV. If you put "available upon request" make sure that they are.