Always start your CV with your full name, professional title and contact details (email address and primary contact number).
It is advisable to include a personal profile which will give any prospective employer a snapshot of who you are. This should include the type of person you are, your goals, your individual qualities and what you might be able to offer the company you are applying to. Two or three sentences here should be enough to cover this.
Education and Qualifications
If you are a graduate with limited industry experience, it is advisable to outline some relevant details about your studies. Give the name of any universities or colleges, course attended, grade, years of study and some key skills learned or modules taken. For more experienced candidates with several years industry experience it is sufficient to summarise this with qualification, grade and year qualification was attained. In addition you may also wish to include any relevant training courses that you have successfully completed.
Experience and employment history
This section should be listed in reverse chronological order (most recent first). For each position state your job title, employer, dates you worked (month and year). Include your responsibilities within the role, any relevant projects that you worked on, and the skills involved during this period. A widely used format is to write a line that summarises the role, followed by bullet points that outline the tasks involved.
It is useful to provide a summary of your skills to give a snapshot to the reader. You should list all relevant skills that you have utilised. This can be done in bullet points.
If you have any specific achievements from your career that you wish to state, it is a good idea to put these in a separate section. Try to keep these as concise as possible.
Hobbies and Interests
Some employers like to know what an applicant does in their spare time. Sports, hobbies, voluntary work are some of the things you can mention here.
There is no requirement to include details of referees on your CV. It is acceptable to put something like “References are available upon request”.
Other things to bear in mind:
- Try to ensure that the layout of your CV is consistent, neat and easily readable. There is no right or wrong answer as to how long it should be, but in our experience, our clients tend to prefer 2-3 pages.
- Make sure that you spell check! Remember, you are trying to make an excellent first impression to the client. Spelling mistakes and grammar errors do not look good. If you are unsure, ask for a second opinion from somebody you know.
- Importantly, try to remember that every company is different. It is always worth tweaking your CV for a specific job application in order to make sure it is as relevant as possible.