Ultimate CV Tips

Ultimate CV Tips

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When you apply for a job, you will find that one of the first things they will ask for will be your CV. Along with a personal letter, a CV gives them a good explanation of your job history and experience. They can use this to find out how much of the criteria you meet for the role and whether you can take on the challenges of the job. They might only want to take on people with a certain A level or degree so checking the CV can also answer this question. A lot of people are sending over CVs that just don’t meet the grade when it comes to helping you secure that job. Whether it’s not written in the best way or doesn’t showcase the person’s experience well, the CV means the application goes in the bin. And it could mean you are on the job hunt longer than expected. Therefore, before you go applying for any more jobs, here are some tips on how to write a CV and all you need to make it a successful document as it’s more important than you think in landing you an interview.

What Is A CV?

A high number of people don’t realise what a CV is when they see it on job adverts. Therefore, to clarify, a CV is a document which basically highlights a person’s qualifications, experience and achievements. A good CV gives you an initial chance to show why you make a good candidate for the job. It is often in sections to make it easy for potential employers to go through it easily to find the information they require about your work history.  With your CV, a recruiter can compare it with other people’s CVs so they can create a shortlist for interviews. It’s often a popular choice now compared to filling out a long application as most of the information they need is already on a CV.

What Does CV Stand For?

The term CV is actually a Latin phrase which means Curriculum Vitae. It actually translates to the story of your life which is quite apt as a CV enables you to give great detail of what you have done in your professional life. In other countries, they often call it a resume. While it used to be written, a good CV now is in electronic writing so it can be emailed across to prospective employers or recruiters.

What Should You Include In A CV?

A lot of people don’t know what they should include in a CV. This means they tend to give too much information or don’t write what can help lead them to secure that interview. Therefore, here is what should be included in your CV. First things first, you need to include your full name, an address and contact details. So many people don’t include this vital information, but they won’t be able to get in touch. You then need to write a few short lines about you and your background for the personal statement. This is one of the first things they will read so sell yourself well. The next thing you need to include is your work experience. Put your job title and add a few sentences about your main responsibilities in the role. If you have had several jobs, just include the ones most relevant to the job you are applying for. Then you need to list your education with the highest achievement at the top. You then should list your key skills such as any programs you can use and languages you can speak. Then finally you should write about your favourite hobbies and you can then add your references.

How To Create a CV

Here are a few things you need to consider to help you create a CV:

Writing Tips

As well as getting the content right on your CV, you need to make sure that you write it well if you want to impress future employers. One tip you need is that you need to make sure you use positive language and make sure it comes across confidently. That way, you can show you are a professional person and should be taken seriously. You also need to make sure you check the spelling and grammar thoroughly in the CV. Any mistakes could soon place you at the bottom of the list for an interview. Also, remember that when you are writing your CV, only include relevant information in the document. You don’t want to end up writing too much that they won’t want to read. Your focus is on capturing their interest and ensuring they don’t get bored while reading your CV.

What Is a Personal Statement

It’s so important that you include a personal statement in your CV. A personal statement is a short paragraph at the top of your CV which gives a summary of your work history to help you win over the job role on offer. This should be relevant to the job you are applying for, so you need to edit this as necessary. As it says on https://jobs.theguardian.com/article/what-to-include-in-your-cv-personal-statement/, make sure you explain about your skills, experience and knowledge which are relevant to the job and talk about how your character and personality can help too in the new job. That way, they know whether you have the attributes they are looking for and whether you might fit in well at their company.

How To Write a Personal Statement

As the personal statement can help you win that job, you do need to make sure you write a good quality one for your CV. You need first to write something which sets you apart from other candidates. For instance, it might be that you have a degree in a particular subject or have won an award for your work. Mention this first then talk briefly about your work history mentioning the key points of the jobs you have undertaken. It’s worth adding any important skills such as team player or time management which will help you to stand out for the role. Don’t hash it out with unnecessary words; you want it to be roughly 100 words to keep them interested.

Structuring Tips

Trying to structure a CV can be more difficult than you think. A lot of people end up writing too much in one area and not another. And it can all get mixed up if you don’t structure the CV correctly. Therefore, to ensure you structure the CV correctly, make sure you break up the text so it’s easy to read. You want to use bullet points when you can so that you can make each point clearly. And don’t do long paragraphs in your CV; you want a few sentences which show why you should be a new employee. Do a simple list format when you are explaining your work and employment history. And list it in preceding order so they can see where you currently work or your last employer. Remember to make sure the CV flows well before you send it off for that new job.

How To End a CV

While we have discussed what needs to go on your CV, we haven’t actually talked about how you should end the CV. After all, some people feel like they need to add a conclusion to the CV.  However, this is not always the case. A lot of people leave their CV at the point where they have mentioned their hobbies and interests. It gives people an insight into what you are about in your personal life. It allows them to bring up a topic you relate to well during an interview too. For instance, if you say you love cricket, they can ask about the sport to see how passionate you are. Some people also write something along the lines of references available on request. That way, they have to get in touch with you to find out who your references are.

How To Write References

If you want to include references on your CV, you need to make sure you write them correctly to enable them to get in touch with your professional references easily. You should list them in descending order so they know who your preference reference is. That way, you can aim for the best candidate to give you a reference. You need to put their name, title, company and their phone number and email so they can contact them without delay. You need to state clearly their professional relationship to you so the employer instantly knows the kind of questions they can ask.

Make sure you double check all the details for the references before you send it to a potential employee. You don’t want to give them an old email or telephone number. While you can put personal references on your CV, it’s always important to place employers or academic first. After all, they have worked with you in a professional capacity so potential employers will be more interested in what they have to say. As it says on https://work.chron.com/write-references-cv-9181.html , you need to make sure you ask for permission to list them on your CV.

How Far Back Should You Go?

A lot of people put their whole job history on a CV, but it’s not always necessary. If the job has no relevance to the job you are applying for, you should leave it off your CV. It’s just taking space on your CV and it’s unlikely to be read by the employer. If you have jobs where you worked for a few weeks or months, you should also consider leaving them off. Only use jobs where you have at least three months experience on your CV. The general rule on how far back should a CV go is ten years back so don’t go back any further into your job catalogue.

What Font Should You Use?

As well as making sure the content is top quality, you need to make sure the appearance of the CV looks good. You want the recruiter or potential employer to be able to view your CV easily without struggling to read what you have written. So the first thing you need to know if you should use the computer to create your CV. You then need to make sure you choose a suitable font which will make your content easy to read. The most common font used on CVs is Times New Roman. It’s the go-to option when it comes to written material. Make sure that you don’t go any bigger than 12 points and keep it black.

How To Make Your CV stand out?

When the potential employer ends up with a ton of CVs on their desk, it can be difficult for them to whittle them down to a few potential candidates. Therefore, you need to make sure your CV stands out compared to other options. Firstly, you need to make sure you include interesting points about your life. If there is an interesting award you have won or a specific language you can speak, make sure this is included. As it says on https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/7-simple-effective-ways-make-your-cv-stand-out, do make sure you use powerful words on your CV. For instance, growth and adaptable are words that will help you to stand out as employers want to read this. And remember to mention what you achieved in each job rather than just list your responsibilities in that role.

How To Structure Your Job Role Descriptions?

When it comes to writing about each job role, the first thing you need to do is write the name of your position, the dates you were in the role and what company. You can then write bullet points where you list your key responsibilities and achievements in the position. You want to make it clear exactly what you did, and you need to include the responsibilities / achievements that are the most relatable for the new job first. You can then talk about any skills or qualifications you achieved while in the role which might be of interest to the employer.

How To Deal With Gaps In Employment

When it comes to gaps in your employment, it depends when it was whether you need to do anything about it on your CV. If you have had jobs since you don’t need to reference it on your CV. If it’s been a significant gap which you are currently partaking in, it’s worth writing down any freelance work or experience you have been doing in the meantime. That way, it shows you were still gaining skills and experience. And you can always refer to any gaps in your cover letter if it was down to maternity leave or illness.

What Kind Of Language Should You Use?

It’s so important you remain professional when it comes to the language on your CV. You need to use formal language and avoid personal pronouns when writing about your work history. You want to avoid jargon at all costs when it comes to this professional document. It’s also important to use technical jargon if it’s relatable to the job at hand. It shows you know what you are talking about and it might put you in front of a competitor for the role. Remember to use positive and powerful wording and make your sentences clear.

How To Structure Your Education and Qualifications 

When it comes to your education and qualifications, you need to structure them so your highest and most recent education is first. You should put the name of the establishment, the dates you attended and the course you did. Make sure you clearly put the grades after each subject so they can see how well you did in each one. Structure it so each level is separated so they know the difference between GCSEs and A-levels for example. Remember to include any online courses you have completed too in this section of your CV too. And keep the certificates handy just in case you need to take them to the interview.

What Interests Should You Include? Which Interests Should You Leave Out?

You need to be careful when it comes to interests on your CVs. After all, you want to ensure you come across as passionate and full of interesting hobbies. Therefore, include interests such as sports and music on your interests. Try to include relevant hobbies for the job you are going for such as blogging for a writing role. You want to remove interests such as watching televisions and movies and shopping which won’t have relevance to the job at hand. 

How Long Should It Be?

When you write your CV, you need to make sure it’s no longer than two pages of A4. So many people write so much it goes on to three or four pages. But it’s more than likely to be dismissed if it’s too long. Therefore, stick to the relevant points then you should have no problems reaching the target of two pages.

Who Reads Your CV?

It’s important you keep in mind who’s reading your CV when you write it. After all, if it’s a recruiter, it needs to be written differently. They will be looking at your qualifications and work experience so they can help you to find an adequate role. So you need to write to focus on these key points to help you to secure a role. A HR manager will also want to know the important details and how you might work in the role. If you are writing for the specific individual such as the manager or supervisor at the job, you need to take extra time on your personal statement and achievements in previous jobs.

What Is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is sent along with your CV and gives you a chance to give a longer view on why you are right for the job. It focuses on key skills you have which would be useful for the job at hand. It also gives you a chance to highlight other areas which might not have been covered in the CV. It should be no longer than a few paragraphs and should be a lot more personable than your CV. It helps employers different potential candidates and gives a real glimpse into the real you.

How To Write a Cover Letter?

The first thing you need to do is write it like a letter. You should include your name, number and address along with the company’s name and address. You should then write to the individual in a welcoming manner. Explain why you wanted to apply for the job and where you found the role. It’s then important to elaborate on why you would be right for the role and past experience and qualifications which make you a good candidate. It’s also worth mentioning facts you know about the company and how you could help make a difference when you start in the role. Make sure you write clearly and concisely and don’t include any unnecessary wording. You should end the cover letter with thanks, yours sincerely and then sign the cover letter.

Free CV Templates

It’s always worth using some CV templates to help you write that killer CV. Here are a few you can choose from:





Creating the perfect CV is much harder than you think. You can’t just put a few details if you want to create a good CV which will draw the employer in and help you to secure that interview. But if you do tackle the task with good structure, clear and informative content and rich detail, you will be able to create a CV which ticks off all the boxes. Make sure you collate all the information you need at the very beginning and then it will make it much easier to build your CV. And remember to get someone else to check your CV thoroughly before you send it off. That way, a fresh pair of eyes will enable you to send work which is grammar and spelling error free. Here is an example CV page which you can view to help you with yours!

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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