Use our guide to create a CV that stands out and gets you through to the interview stage.
A CV is a short, written summary of your skills, achievements and experience. You use it in the first stage of applying for jobs. Employers often ask for a CV instead of an application form. You can do it on paper or online.
It’s your first chance to promote yourself to an employer. A good CV will get you to an interview. Use it to apply for advertised jobs, or to introduce yourself to employers you’d like to work for. They may have unadvertised vacancies.
Gather useful information like:
You can use this information to show how your skills and experience match what the employer wants. You should tailor your CV to suit the job description and the company.
If the job you're applying for does not have a job description, you can use our job profiles to help. They’ll tell you the skills you’ll need and the typical things you’ll do in that job.
There are different CV styles, so use the one which best matches the stage you’re at in your life or career. The main styles are:
Your finished document should be no more than 2 sides of A4 unless it’s an academic CV.
There are some things that you need to put in your CV. You can change the order of these to suit your situation and the type of CV layout you want to use.
You’ll need to include:
Leave out details like your age, date of birth, marital status and nationality. These are not required.
If you have a profile on a professional social media site like LinkedIn, you can add a link to it on your CV.
This is a few short lines that sum up who you are and what you hope to do. Think about the job you want and what the employer is looking for. Make your profile sound like you're the right person for the job.
This section can be added after your personal profile when you’re early on in your career or if you do not have much work experience. Whatever order you choose, you’ll need to give:
If you’re older and have had several jobs you might want to change the order and display your work history and skills first.
Include work placements, volunteering and any paid jobs you’ve held. You’ll need to give details of:
Use active words to highlight your strengths and skills for example, 'organised', 'created', 'built', 'managed' or 'planned'.
Give positive examples of your achievements rather than just listing duties. You can use the STAR method to help.
If you’ve had a lot of jobs, you can use a skills-based CV to group them. This CV is also useful when you have gaps in your work history. Give examples of skills you've developed during the times you were out of work and how you got them.
If you’re applying for your first job, you can focus on skills you’ve learned through projects, part-time work, school work experience, internships, placements or volunteering.
Use examples that show you have skills that are relevant to the job. This section is useful if you do not have much work experience.
You can leave out the details of your references at this point. The recruiter will ask for these when you get through to the next stage.
Employers get lots of CVs to look at and have to decide quickly who they are going to interview. Here are some tips to make your CV stand out for all the right reasons.
When writing your CV remember: