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CV Writing Tips

To help you secure an interview, we have put together some tips looking at how to prepare your CV.

Layout

Your CV needs to be easy to read, with plenty of “white space”.

Try to keep your headings consistent and don’t try to cram it all in – use an extra page if necessary .

Use a font that is easy to read and a format, like Word, that many people/databases can read (recruitment agencies often request CVs to be submitted in a Word format rather than pdf/txt so that database systems can search them).

10 point is the smallest font you should use, 11 point is probably better…

Original formats are memorable, but if you’re going for an unusual design, try to include all the information found in a regular CV.

Content

Structure your CV and aim to showcase your strengths and experiences.

Benefits sell – your CV is your shop window and the product it’s selling is you.

When submitting your general CV to an agency, try to include all of your work experience / relevant course work – this allows the recruiter to search your CV for the greatest number of potential matches.

Tailor your CV for a specific application

Read through the job description and speak to the recruiter involved, to amend your current CV and highlight the qualities they are looking for.

If it is a shift based position, mention in your CV that you are happy to work shifts.

When tailoring your CV, remove or reduce irrelevant experience – as a recent grad you can include it, to show you have managed to find employment and are an employable and approachable person, but just the job title and one line detailing the skills you utilised, plus the dates of employment are all that’s required.

As you progress in your career and gain more work experience you will be able to disregard any irrelevant experience entirely.

Check and amend your CV

Basic spelling errors and typos will undermine your application.  Don’t rely on the spell checker – it won’t pick up words in the wrong place e.g. lose/loose – which have different meanings!

If possible, get someone else to read through your CV carefully for you – even better, get two people to do it.

If you receive suggestions for improvement, then act on them.

HOW TO LAYOUT YOUR CV (tips and example PDF)