Jobshop's Tips on What Makes a Good CV?

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What makes a good CV?

When you're a student it is a bit daunting thinking about future job prospects. It can become a little confusing knowing what and what not to include when writing your CV. 

So here are some of Jobshop's best tips on how to write/improve your CV to ensure you get an interview for your dream job. 

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What is a CV?

CV stands for Curriculum Vitae and it is a document which outlines your educational and professional history. It's purpose is to present you in the best possible light and sell your skills, qualities, qualifications and experiences in relation to the role you are applying for. 

What to include in a CV:

Your CV can be personalised to you - there is no right or wrong way to structure it! 

Typically, every CV should include:

  • One's personal details - Name, address, contact number and an email address.
  • Personal Statement - Roughly 3/4 sentences which identifies your key skills and qualities relating to the role you are applying for. 
  • Qualifications - e.g. GCSEs, AS Levels, A-Levels, BTEC, Degrees, etc. 
  • Professional Experience - e.g. Previous jobs, volunteering, work experience, etc

Additional sections which we advise that could enhance your CV:

  • Key Skills - e.g. What skills you can bring to the company. 
  • Hobbies and Interests - e.g. What do you like to do in your spare time - this can tell an employer a lot about a person. 
  • References - The contact details of a previous employer/ volunteer leader/ work experience mentor etc and a character reference (someone who has known you for several years).

What not to include in a CV:

1. Unless the role you are applying for requires a photo (eg. modelling or acting), there is no need to attach a photo of yourself. 

2. There is no need to state your date of birth, marital status, health or National Insurance Number on your CV.

3. There is no need to list every exam or activity you have been involved in - only the ones which are relevant.

4. Regarding the character reference, please try to avoid listing a family member. 

5. We advise you do not print your CV double sided - each page should be seperate. 

Common mistakes when writing your CV:

Spelling/grammar mistakes - Mr Jones would not appreciate being called Mr James so double and triple check all spellings before submitting your CV. 

Unprofessional email address - It was okay to have the email address when you were younger, however when applying for job roles try to send the CV from a suitable email address. 

Cramped - Make sure your CV is laid out logically, easy to read and only includes relevant information. 

Specific - The skills you include should be suitable for the role your applying for. There is no need to tell someone you can write a Facebook status in 0.9 seconds when you are applying for an accounting role. 

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