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How to Write a Great CV

Orion Group has been providing specialist recruitment services to a range of industries for over 30 years and we recognise that, no matter which industry you belong to, having a first class CV/Resume is vital for your career success.

People are our business, Worldwide and we want to support you in any way we can with your career progression.  With that in mind, we have come up with our top tips on how to create a CV that will make you stand out in a competitive business environment.

Format

Personal Statement

Once you have listed your relevant personal information (Name, address and contact details) A strong personal statement is the best way to begin your CV.  Ideally this should be tailored for each job that you are applying for, using the job description to highlight skills and experience that are relevant the job you are applying for. 

Keep your opening statement objective and avoid clichés such as 'excellent self-starter', 'good team player', 'natural leader and good communicator'. These qualities can be demonstrated through your tangible achievements which follow in the CV. Express your skills and qualities in the present tense - you may not be using them right now but you still have these facilities.

Work History

Following your opening personal statement, writing a list of your work history in chronological order starting with your current employer is the most widely accepted format.  More space can be allocated to the more recent positions, since these are where your most important achievements are usually found.

It is not sufficient to simply state the posts and responsibilities that you have held. It is vital to illustrate how well you have carried out this work through your list of achievements.  How does an achievement differ from responsibility? An achievement is a statement of how you have added value to an organisation.

Education

After your relevant work experience, it is a good idea to add a section about your educational background. This should include the most relevant professional courses and training you have been on and only then move on to university, college and school qualifications. A CV should also give some idea of your future potential. If you are presently studying for an additional qualification, say so.

Conclusion

A good way of bringing a CV to a conclusion is to list a few personal interests and hobbies. Don't be exhaustive here. A few bullet points are enough to give an indication of your personality. Include any skills out with work that may have a direct bearing on your suitability for a particular post.

Layout

Making your CV fit on one side of a page of A4 is a good approach if you have not had work experience before or have perhaps just had one job since leaving school.

For those who have more experience, keep your CV layout to two sides of A4 and three at the most.  If you feel like you have a lot of information to fit in, don’t be tempted to reduce the size of font to cram it all in.  Line breaks and bullet points are good ways of keeping the flow of your CV's layout visually appealing and making the content fit.

Your CV should be clear, concise and well designed. The content should be visually attractive and give the reader a good overall understanding of your skills and experience. Remember that the person reading your CV probably doesn’t know you so positive features need to jump off the page.

For more information and tips on how to secure your next job you can read our helpful guides here.  You can also contact our team of specialist recruitment teams who can help you get the most from your CV.

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