What is a CV?

CV is short for Curriculum Vitae, which is a Latin phrase which loosely translates to ‘the course of my life’. A CV is a concise document that summarises an individual’s education, skills and experience.

Importance of a CV?

In most situations, a CV is the first contact an individual would have with their prospective employer and it is their chance to make a good first impression. A CV is used to show prospective employers why they should hire you and what you can bring to the organisation. It is ultimately your personal marketing tool.

How do I create a good CV?

There are no strict rules for creating a winning CV as each job is different and each employer would be looking for different things. CV writing etiquette also changes over time, so it is advisable to keep your CV updated and tailed to each job that you apply for. However a standard CV in the UK should be no longer than two sides of A4.

What information to include in your CV?

  • Personal Details: Include your full name, home address, mobile number and email address. Make sure these are clearly presented at the top of your CV. Some individuals like to include their date of birth or a photograph, but this is not necessary for most roles.
  • Personal Statement: This is your chance to shine and capture the readers attention. A personal statement is a concise profile of you that highlights your key attributes or reasons for deciding to work in a particular field. Pick out a few relevant achievements and skills that articulate your career aims. It must focus on the sector and role you are applying to.
  • Work Experience: When writing about your work history, only list experiences that are relevant to the role you are apply for. You CV should highlight you as the strongest candidate for the role.
  • Education – Your educational experience and achievements should be listed here with the most recent first, along with dates, the type of qualification and/or the grade you achieved.
  • Skills and achievements – This is where you talk about the IT packages you can use and the foreign languages you can speak. Whatever you list should be relevant to the job role.
  • Interests – Mentioning interests and hobbies is not a necessity. However, this can sometimes help you stand out from other applicants. You should list interests that portray a range of transferable skills and paint you in the best possible light.
  • Reference – You do not need to provide the names of references within your CV, but you should mention if they can be provided with the following statement ‘references available upon request’.