How To Write A Good CV Employment

Your CV is a crucial first step in the job hunting process. So, it’s important to get it right. But with so much advice out there, it can feel overwhelming when you’re just starting out. Whether you need to refresh your existing CV or you’re starting from scratch, our handy CV writing guide will help you on your way to an interview winning application. 

What is a CV? 

The initials ‘CV’ stand for Curriculum Vitae, which is Latin for ‘the course of my life’. 

Your CV is an opportunity to show your skills, experience, achievements, and personality to an employer before the interview stage. 

Why is a good CV important? 

A CV is your chance to make a good first impression to an employer. Along with your cover letter, a good CV should detail why you are the right fit for a job and what you will bring to the company as a member of their team. 

What should you put on your CV? 

Your CV should include the following: 

  • Your Personal Details – Such as your name, address, contact information (including phone numbers and email address). 
  • Personal Statement -This goes at the beginning of your CV and is a chance to capture the attention of an employer and tell them a little bit more about yourself. 
  • Education – Starting with your most recent academic qualifications and working backwards 
  • Work ExperienceStart with your most recent job first and end with your first ever job. Include the name of your employer, their address and the dates you worked there. If relevant, put in some bullet points to show your responsibilities in the role, skills you picked up or qualifications you have achieved. 
  • Hobbies & Interests Keep this brief and relevant to the role! If you can’t think of anything then leave out this section.

Your CV should contain enough relevant information to get the interest of an employer. Keep it short and sweet but make sure you outline all the most important details about yourself, your education and your work history. 

How to write a good CV 

Keep It Simple 

On average, recruiters spend around 6 seconds looking at each CV they receive. So it’s important to make a good first impression – but keep it brief. 

When you type up your CV, use clear fonts in an appropriate size (we recommend Times New Roman in 11 or 12pt) and use headers to break up each section in your layout. 

Include Your Contact Information 

The main aim of your CV is to get invited for an interview, so including your contact information is vital. It’s best to put this at the top of your CV along with your name. Remember to include: 

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • Telephone Number 
  • Home Address 

If you have a less than professional email address, consider creating a new one for your job hunt. Something like {} is perfect for your needs. 

Perfect Your Personal Statement 

Your personal statement should be about 100 words. The goal of it is to tell a recruiter quickly why you are the right candidate for the role. Use it to highlight your most relevant skills, experience and ambitions in no more than 3 or 4 sentences. 

For more support and practical examples of personal statements for CVs, click here. 

Sing Your Own Praises 

When it comes to the work experience section of your CV, don’t be afraid to sing your own praises. 

As a minimum you should include each previous position you have held, the dates you worked and your responsibilities. 

BUT…if you really want to shine you’ll also include any achievements and accomplishments you reached during your employment. 

For example, if you created a new process within your job role that made serving customers quicker and more effective – make sure you put that in! 

Tailor Your CV To The Job Description 

Nearly all job adverts will include a description of the job and requirements of the role. Some may even include a Person Specification, which lists required and desired skills of the successful candidates. 

Use the information you are given to tailor your CV to the needs of the employer!

Include ALL Relevant Experience 

If you have been a volunteer or completed a work placement, make sure you put this on your CV. 

The same goes for any training courses you may have completed within work or outside of work. Adding relevant experience will help you paint the best picture of yourself and create a lasting first impression. 

Explain Gaps In Employment 

If you have been out of work for any length of time, be sure to include this in your CV. Do this in the same way you would add work experience, including dates and (if relevant) what you were doing at this time (e.g. job hunting, stay at home parent, studying, etc). 

Don’t Lie! 

It might be tempting, but don’t lie on your CV. 

Be honest and talk about your achievements, however big or small they may be. And always demonstrate your willingness to work hard and learn in areas you may be lacking experience.

Check Before You Send 

Before you send your CV or upload it to an online jobs board, make sure you check it (and then double check it) for any mistakes. If you can, get someone else to have a look over your CV too, as sometimes it’s not always easy to see what we’ve missed. 

What not to include in your CV?

You do not need to include information such as: 

  • Marital Status 
  • Age 
  • Religion 
  • Sexuality
  • A physical description (or photograph)
  • Social Media accounts 

The Equality Act 2010 protects people from unfair treatment, including in the workplace, meaning you can’t be discriminated against for your age, disability, gender, marital status, pregnancy, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation. Therefore, there is no reason to include these in your application should you be uncomfortable doing so. 

Should I Include References? 

Most employers will require references from a previous employer, or a character reference from someone you have known for a certain length of time. 

While it is good to make it clear that you can give references on request should they be required, it is not necessary to include them on your CV. 

That being said, certain job application forms either online or on paper may ask for reference details. If this is the case, make sure you contact your references and ask for their permission to share their contact details and make them aware that someone may get in touch. 

Need A Bit More Support? 

If you’re starting out writing a new CV and need some help in getting it done, contact us today. We provide free support with CV writing, training and job search support to residents in Staffordshire and South Staffordshire at our job clubs! Alternatively, for a detailed and private 1-2-1 with one of advocates who can advise and help, please call 01902 96228 or fill in the form below to request a callback.