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How To Write The Perfect CV

A CV. We all have one, but are they all effective? Do they all have the correct information? What do you include? What do you leave out?


Well Amy Neill is a tutor here at Mitre Group and she has run many employability skills lessons within her courses, and Jo Sibson, former career adviser from Derby University she has told us what makes a perfect CV in six simple steps.


Step One : Personal Profile -

To start you need to have a personal profile to open, this needs to be capturing and engaging. Nothing generic! A personal profile should be a few lines long and should introduce the employer to you.


Step Two : Employment History -

It is probably no surprise you need to put your employment history on your CV, make sure you are starting with your current or most recent and make sure you everything is relevant. Remember employers are busy and will have a lot of CVs come across their desk so makes sure yours grabs their attention.


Step Three : Skills -

Skills, we all have them too, but which ones are relevant? And where do you put them? So you’ve put some of them in your personal statement but what about the rest? I, personally, would put them in bullet points under the relevant job that taught you them! Give them reasons! Oh you’re a hard worker? How? Give examples, how have you shown you are a hard worker? Don’t forget to make sure it’s relevant to the job! Keep it short and sweet.


Step Four : Education -

Grades, you work hard for them I know, but you only need to include those relevant. When you’re 16 GCSEs need to be on there but if you’re 34 and have a degree your GCSEs are, in the nicest way, be irrelevant! If you got straight 9/A* you are well within your right to put those on your CV, it shows you’ve been a hard worker for a long time, there is no one size fits all! If you did average and went on to achieve high A Levels and a high degree, just include your English and Maths at C/4 or above and you’re fine! I know that will not be nice to hear as you work hard for them but as soon as you have that higher qualification the lower ones become less important, but when it is necessary to put a lot of qualifications make sure you put them in the same order as you employment history, newest to oldest!

Also put any relevant modules from your courses on there too, as if you have an A Level in Law there various different paths and modules that get chosen so if it's relevant to the job put it on your CV.

Furthermore, if you have ever received an award in you time through education put it on your CV! You got 'Student of the week'? Put it on there! Most schools, colleges and universities have awards like this and they always looks good on your CV.


Step Five : Hobbies -

So, you’ve mastered your CV up to this point, now where it can all go wrong. Hobbies and Interests. Now they do what to know about you, they really do! However, make sure you are underlying key skills too, you play football? Make sure you say you like working as a team, because you must do if you regularly work as a team!

Step Six : References -

References, these will change constantly, depending on the job you’re applying for. Simply put 'Available On Request'. But always make sure you have people in mind who you can ask, and make sure they know you are putting them down as a reference and you have their permission!


Top Tip : Updating -

You should be constantly be updating your CV ever time you gain new training or a new certificate. This way when you come to apply for a new role you don't have to be sat constantly thinking of what training you did or what experience you gained it's already there and you can cut out things that may not be needed for this job but might be for the next.


Finally: Check list -

Is it all relevant?

Is it less than two sides?

Are there any spelling errors?

Is your grammar correct?

Have you left contact information?

Make sure your date of birth is not on there! It should not be on there!

Is it formal?

Is it relevant?!

Is it easy to read? Correct font?

With CVs there is no correct format and that is important to remember there isn't a one size fits all. You may need a very formal one or most jobs however if you are going for a very art/ media based jobs you might want to get creative, that doesn't mean you have to! It could just be a way of showing some of the creative ways you work.


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