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CVs (Curriculum Vitae – meaning the course of one’s life) are used to introduce jobseekers to potential employers and is a good way of marketing yourself. They are usually the first and sometimes the only opportunity that a potential employer will have to find out about you. How you write your CV and covering letter is up to you but to help we have given some basic guildelines.

A CV is a relatively short listing of a candidate’s qualifications, employment history and achievements and can be an important step towards landing a position with a potential employer. There is no ‘perfect’ CV format, however, many professionals will have more than one CV so they can present themselves in different ways to different audiences. We have listed below general notes which we hope will assist in your search for new or alternative employment.

  • The most effect CVs are usually between two and three pages.
  • The layout should be ‘easy on the eye’. In other words, try to avoid the temptation to cram as much information in as possible.
  • The reader should be able to quickly skim over the CV and know what your key strengths are.
  • Be objective and brief, using short sentences.
  • When talking about your achievements, be positive, always write your CV in the first person e.g. use I have not we have or he has.
  • Always check your CV for spelling errors and punctuation.
  • Suggested CV Format

    Section one

    Your CV should begin with your name, address and contact information and then a short personal statement setting out your key skills and attributes. It should be an affirmation of you as a person and will be the first thing the employer will read. For example I am an effective team player.

    Section two

    Your current (or most recent job). This will usually be the most relevant to the employer. Ideally they want to know key facts such as job title, salary, when you took up the post and your notice period.  They will also want to know what your duties and responsibilities are, or have been, you should not assume that the job title says it all.

    Section three

    Regarding with your employment history,  begin with the most recent and work backwards. Do not provide substantial detail about jobs that are not relevant to the role, concentrate on the role you are applying for. Employment history should demonstrate consistency and progression, if you have held a number of different positions in different organisations and different sectors, it may be useful to include the reasons why you made these career changes.

    Section four (this section can either be placed after section one or after section three).

    Academic and professional qualifications, in-house training and other courses should be listed in the following order.  Firsty professional qualifications, secondly academic results and finally training course information. Specific course details are not required, however, the complete course names, grades achieved and the full name of the institution attended should be included.

    Section five

    Personal interests


    With regards to personal details you may include the following, date of birth, nationality, ethnic group and marital status are optional.To find out more information on how to create a CV we would suggest you go on the national career services website

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