Creating a CV can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. Have a look at these top tips for the perfect CV and maximise your chances of being shortlisted for an interview.
If you’re happy with your CV, then why not look for a job?
Personal information– name, address, phone number and email address.
- State whether you’re eligible to work in the UK, your nationality and what date you are available to work from.
- Include how you would travel to work. Would you rely on public transport, are you learning to drive, do you have a car with a full, clean driving licence?
Personal profile– This is very important to get right as your profile can make or break your application.
- Keep to no more than 250 words.
- Explain clearly what skills you can have to offer and how you fit the advertised job.
- What kind of person you are and what role you are looking for.
Key skills and achievements– These do not necessarily have to be from previous job roles, they can be personal achievements.
- Provide examples of your skills and how they have been of benefit in the past.
- You can take up to a page for this section depending on your experience.
Work experience– Starting with the most recent job first, include the employers name, start and finish dates and a brief outline of your responsibilities.
- Account for any gaps in your employment history such as long term sickness or gap years.
- Include part-time and voluntary work.
- School leavers should demonstrate how they are looking to gain work experience.
Education and Professional Qualifications
- State the school/college name, dates you were there and the qualifications gained at each.
- State individual A-level and GCSE subjects, grades and dates achieved.
- If you have qualifications from overseas state the equivalent type of qualification level in the UK.
Other relevant skills– This can include ICT skills and computer programmes that are likely to be used at work, eg. Microsoft Office, other languages you may speak and any training you have completed that may be relevant to the job you have applied for.
Interests- Keep it brief and just a couple of lines long.
References– Ideally use up to two employer references that can be contacted. Don’t forget to make sure they’re happy to be contacted and provide a reference for you.
- If you do not have suitable employers, school /college teachers can be used.
- A personal reference may also be asked for by your new employer. This can be someone who knows you from outside work but should not be a friend or family member, eg. If you are involved with a sports club or charity organisation.
- For each referee, provide their name, company name (or where you know them from), address, phone number and email address.
- If you do not want your employer to be contacted in advance, you can state ‘References available on request’.
CV Do’s and Don’ts
- Keep the details on your CV entirely relevant to the type of job / apprenticeship you are applying for.
- Make it easy to read; brief and informative, it should be 2-3 pages maximum. Use bullet points and subheadings where suitable.
- Use the full page and avoid having large sections of text, as it makes it hard to read.
- Put the time and effort into making your CV look good. Employers can tell if you have completed it in a rush.
- Check your spelling and grammar and ask someone else who knows you to check this for you. Always make sure capitals are used for ‘I’, names and jobs roles.
- Keep your CV up to date.
- Sell yourself and give good examples of the experience you have had and the skills you have gained. Make yourself stand out from other applicants.
- Include date of birth, marital status, sexual orientation or pictures.
- Use humour and sarcasm.
- Use abbreviations, text language, writing in the third person. Avoid repetition and be honest.
- Use fancy fonts, boxes and contrasting text size. Arial size 10-12 is standard.
Download a copy of our Top CV Tips– you can refer to these when writing your CV.
Ready to find a job?
Apply now through the “Find an Apprenticeship” application process.