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CV Writing Advice

Curriculum Vitae translates as the course (as in story) of your life.

However, when writing your CV we suggest you keep to a two (maximum three) page summary.

As the saying goes "A résumé should be like a skirt, Long enough to cover the basics, short enough to keep them interested..."

Your CV should include

Name

Profile

This is a paragraph giving an overview of your experience and detailing your strengths and areas of expertise. It is your opening “sales pitch” and provides the important first impression.

Professional Experience and Achievements

This is your employment history. Start with the most recent position and work backwards.
Include the employers, job titles and dates. Ensure the dates are correct. Inconsistencies are sure to be questioned at interview.
For each position include your achievements and figures. Examples:

“I have been a member of the HR Interims team for the last 18 months. I specialise in senior HR Interims and currently have 10 contractors out. My billings for last year were £185,000”
” Last year I was awarded Rookie of the Year at the annual sales conference”
“I have been manager of our Southampton branch for two years. During that time I have grown the team from 5 to 11 fee-earners and increased the branch’s operating profit by 80%”

Graduates writing a CV for a first recruitment role may not have sales achievements they can detail. Instead, draw examples from temporary or voluntary roles or from societies or interests. Example:

“In my second year I was president of the University Cycling Society. Over the summer, I organised a society trip for 25 members (plus bicycles!) to the French Alps. Not only was the trip a great success, it generated a £500 profit for the society”

If you have held a number of positions the earliest ones can be summarised as an “Early Career Summary”

Professional Development

Here you can list any relevant training and development that you have received in your career.

Education and qualifications

List your highest qualification first, detailing grades or anticipated grades.
List your other educational establishments and qualifications with dates.

Personal

In this section you can list your interests and achievements in your personal life. This section will give a potential employer a snap-shot of your personality. Here is where you can put any other information such as holding a driving licence.

General CV advice

A Word document with a simple lay-out is ideal. Avoid complex formatting, graphics and tables.
Use a spell checker and ensure correct grammar. An eye for detail is important.
Avoid unusual acronyms or language that may be unique to one particular business. Provide explanations where necessary.

Be honest and accurate.