A Curriculum Vitae, usually a CV, shows what you have done with your life so far – your education, training, work experience and skills in a nutshell.

The aim of the CV is to present positive information about you in a way that makes the employer want to meet you. It takes time to produce a good CV and it should always be kept up to date.

 

Rules for your CV

► Who will read it? – What are they looking for? Be brief and to the point, using bullet points and lists for skills rather than long sentences.

► Tell it like it is! – Say who you are, what you’re doing now and what skills this has given you, what qualifications you have achieved and at what level.

► What have you done?! – Make sure your work history highlights your suitability for the job. If a job title is vague say what the job actually was.

► Be proud of achievements – explain the jobs in terms of what you achieved.

Don’t pad! Don’t add things just for the sake of it.

► Set it out well – keep it to two sides of A4. Don’t drop the font size to cram more in – just be selective with what you include. Space the content well and leave plenty of white space around the text – keep all the text in the same font and the same size.

A CV for your first job

If you have left school or college and haven’t had a job before, your CV will be a bit empty. You can still create a good CV by thinking about your skills and education and presenting them well.

► Title – some CVs have a title which says the job that you are looking for or qualified in, for example “Graphic Designer” or “Joinery Apprentice”.

► Personal details – name, address, home and mobile number, email address if you have one. You do not need to include your date of birth.

► Education/ Qualifications – set these out giving your most recent school/college first. List the qualifications you have gained at each stage (if you don’t have them yet either put a predicted grade or ‘pending’).

► Work experience – most people have done some ‘work’, even if they did not get paid for it. Think about it: School work experience, helping family or neighbours, things that you may have done in school or college such as helping out with an open day, school event, showing visitors around, working in the school library etc.

Now! Think about the skills you used:

► Interpersonal skills – when dealing with people.

► Team Work skills – when working together on a project.

► Organisational skills – when planning an event or managing your work