Successful CVs

A CV is a vital document for job hunting. It gives a clear summary of your education, work experience, knowledge and skills. Many employers will ask you to send your CV when you apply for a job. You can also send it to employers who have not yet advertised a vacancy.

Employers receive many CVs for their vacancies and they tend to glance over CVs quickly, so your CV needs to be eye catching and interesting. You will have to sell yourself.

Your CV should be:

  • well designed and presented
  • word processed
  • a maximum of two sides of A4
  • concise, to the point, and factual
  • targeted at the job description

Employers are usually looking for particular skills or personal qualities, such as the ability to use IT, good communication skills (with business clients and colleagues), ability to use initiative, organisational skills, flexibility, teamwork and the ability to cope with pressure. When applying for positions, pick out the skills required and demonstrate that you have them.

In your CV, the following should be included:

Personal Details
Full name, address, telephone number and date of birth.

Skills
Include keyboard skills with speeds, knowledge of software packages; any languages that you can speak etc.

Education and Qualifications
School/College attended with dates.  Qualifications gained, include grades and dates.

Work Experience
Include full time, holiday and part time work, paid and voluntary.

For each job include the name of the employer, dates, job title and duties, responsibilities and involvement. Expand on interests, e.g. just ‘reading’ is not enough – you need to say what type of books you enjoy. Detail foreign travel. Highlight any initiatives you have taken.

Interests and Activities:
For example,  sporting, music, drama clubs, societies. exchange visits, voluntary work, computers.  Indicate your level of achievement, positions of responsibility and involvement.  Expand on interests. Just ‘reading’ is not enough, you need to say what type of books you enjoy. Detail foreign travel.  Highlight any initiatives you have taken.

Remember that employers often like applicants who can show evidence of team involvement.

Additional Information:
For example, full driving license.

Referees
One should be an academic person who can comment on your education; the other should be an employer or friend of the family. Quote their occupation or job title.  Ask their permission beforehand.