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How to write a CV: top tips for jobseekers


What is a CV?

A CV (curriculum vitae) is a written overview of your skills, education, hobbies and work experience. You'll often need a CV when applying for jobs, internships, apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities.

A fantastic CV can boost your career and help you achieve your dreams, but it can be hard to know how to get started. We've got lots of of tips to help you write a CV that will get you noticed by employers.

What should I include?

There are some key pieces of information that all CVs must include:

  • Your personal details: your name and an email address that looks professional
  • A personal statement: a brief personal summary of who you are and your aspirations
  • Relevant key skills: these can include any additional languages, digital and creative skills
  • Work experience: list all your work experience with the most recent first
  • Education and qualifications: include all your qualifications with the most recent one first

Formatting a CV

How your CV looks is just as important as what it says. Make sure your CV is always clear and easy to read by following these five rules:

  1. Be logical
  2. Keep it succinct
  3. Check for spelling and grammar
  4. Choose a professional font
  5. Use heading and bullet points

Top tips for your CV

Make sure your CV stands out from the crowd

A good CV should show what makes you different to everyone else. It should demonstrate your unique blend of skills, qualifications, work experience, hobbies and ambitions. What is special about your skills, qualifications, work experience, hobbies and ambitions?

Keep it simple

Hiring managers often read hundreds of applications! Make sure yours stands out by being clear, succinct and engaging.

Don’t use the same CV for every job application

Tailor your CV to match the job you are applying for. Look at the skills listed in the job description and use your CV to show that you have them.

Keep it to two pages

The standard length of a CV is two pages. It's better to keep things short than to ramble. If you are starting your career, an employer won’t expect you to have years of experience.

Ensure the formatting of your CV is the same throughout

This will make it look professional and carefully thought through. Font size should be between 10 and 12 points. Too small or large font will make your CV look cluttered and unprofessional.

Keep it professional

Avoid providing any personal information that the employer doesn't need to know.

Explain any employment gaps

Taking time away from work shouldn’t hold you back. Use your CV to explain any gaps and say what you achieved during this time.

Be proud of what you have achieved and don’t lie

If you have to lie on your CV to match the job description, you're probably not ready for that position.

Make sure you know your CV

Job interview questions will be based on the information in your CV so make sure you can talk about all of the examples you have included.