Winning Cv

How To Write A Winning CV

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​Your CV is your opportunity to market your skills, experience, qualifications and the value you would bring to a prospective employer. Above all else, your CV should look professional, have sustainable facts and achievements, and be the platform from where you can demonstrate your suitability at interview.

The layout, and what to include

There are many different layouts to a professional CV, and yours should be individual and reflect your personality along with your experience. However, as a guide your CV will be better received if it is well formatted using an easy to read black font, refrain from using unnecessary graphics or pictures and keep the information clear and concise using bullet points for achievements rather than long sentences.

●      Contact/Personal Information – Details of how you are happy to be contacted including your name, address, telephone number, personal email address and any links to relevant professional social media sites that you are happy to be viewed. Please note that you are not required to include your date of birth.

●      Introduction/Professional Statement – As an opening at the start of your CV, this should be a positive biography that gives an overall description of you as a person, your skills, experience, achievements and is your chance to get the recruiters attention and gain interest. It is a good idea to double check that this statement matches the specification of the role that you are applying to and avoid using company jargon that isn’t used broadly within the market place.

●      Education and Qualifications – As a rule, your most recent Education/Qualifications should be listed first along with the grade achieved. Any professional memberships and qualifications should also be noted within this section.

●      Training/Certification – Any valid training courses/ certification should be included along with date of completion/expiry.

●      Career/Work History – In chronological order, starting with your most recent, include a list of your employers, job title, your responsibilities within your role and personal achievements. Think of a typical day in your role, what did you achieve, which systems did you use, who did you interact with and what was your impact?

●      Additional Information – You may well want to include any other interests, hobbies, achievements as a footnote to your CV. Please note however, that these interests need to portray a positive image and shouldn’t be detrimental to your application.

Useful Tips on CV Writing

●      Double and triple check your CV for spelling/grammar errors and if possible have another person proof read the document for you.

●      Keep it clear, concise and accurate – do not feel pressurised to expand dates, experience or qualifications as common practice is to check all of these through referencing procedures.

●      Use positive, confident language to sell your experience and achievements. Do not just state why you are successful; back it up with specific achievements.

●      Be ready to explain any gaps in your employment history – if you were travelling, where were you? If you were taking a sabbatical, then why and what did you do within this time? Have you learned any other transferable skills during this time? Have a positive response ready.

●      References – If you do include any references on your CV then some recruiters see this as a green light to contact them so can be a better option to have ‘available on request’ for when an offer is imminent.