How to Prepare Your CV
When it comes to preparing your CV, almost all of us simply dread the thoughts of this task. It is difficult to know where to start, what information should be included and most daunting of all, what to say about yourself. What you need to keep to the forefront of your mind is that your CV needs to grab the attention of the reader, create a positive impact to ensure that the person wants to keep reading. With this in mind, we have set out a format that we feel works every time.
Presentation and Layout of your CV
- Remember first impressions last, therefore you must take the time to find good quality, white paper and ensure that the document is printed with no smudges.
- Ensure your name, address, and contact details are clearly printed at the top of the page (Personal Information Heading)
- Use sub-headings (i.e. Personal Information, Personal Profile etc.) to ensure the document is easy to read.
- Ensure you leave sufficient spaces between headings and content, always using bold font for each heading.
- Following on from your Personal Information section, next proceed to Personal Profile, Qualifications and Achievements, Educational History, Employment History, Hobbies and finally References.
Content of your CV
- Firstly, create your Personal Profile. This only needs to be a maximum of three or four sentences about yourself and the skills you possess. Take the time to ensure you are fully confident with what you have written as you may need to back this up at interview stage.
- Next is your Qualifications and Achievements. This section should include courses you have studied and any awards you have achieved.
- Followed by Educational History. Here you must state your schooling, exams taken and results obtained. Always begin with your final exams and work back to the beginning of your secondary education.
- Then on to Employment History. Starting with your current or most recent employment, begin with Dates (be as accurate as possible here i.e. the month and year you commenced and month and year you parted), Company Name, Job Title, Key Responsibilities. When listing your key responsibilities, use bullet points to clearly describe your role and what it entails. Using power phrases such as "responsible for, supervision of, training of, management of etc." as this will help qualify you for the position you are applying for. Always tailor your skills to match the position you are applying for. It gives you a greater chance of being selected for the position.
- Ensure there are no gaps throughout your employment history. Even if you were unemployed for a time, you must state this along with the dates. If you took time out to travel, state this and again the dates.
- Next move on to Hobbies. We always advise to keep the vacancy you are applying for in mind when listing your hobbies. This is a clever way to highlight strengths suited to the role, e.g. create something such as, you are a captain of a team, if you are applying for a role that involves responsibility for others. If you are a student just entering the workforce, this is a good section for you to state strengths such as being a school prefect etc. We always recommend that you mention something Intellectual, Creative and Social when completing your hobbies section.
- Finally, References. In this section you can simply type, References available upon request or should you wish to provide details of your referees, always remember that you must state the person's full name, company they work for, their position and their contact details.