Top five tips on … CV writing

Writing a CV can be stressful, especially if you’re starting from scratch. Although there is no right or wrong way to create the perfect CV, there are a few things you should always remember to include.

If you’re starting to think about applying for your apprenticeship, your CV could be the key to success, allowing you to jump that first hurdle in the application process. Today, we will share with you our top five tips for writing the perfect CV to ensure you get noticed and get added to the interview pile.

Clear presentation

Type up your CV using a clear, uncomplicated font (Times New Roman or Arial tend to work best). Make sure to keep the same size font throughout (12 is standard) and avoid trying to do clever visual things. Clean and tidy are far more important to the prospective employer.

Keep it concise

Keep your CV to one page. Managers and other professionals focused on hiring will be busy and have many applications to consider. Plus, keeping to a single page will force you to be concise and stick to the important points. Using positive language can link the skills you have to the job you are applying for.

Organise your skills

Categorise your skills, experience and achievements under the following headings:

  • Work experience (including part-time jobs)
  • Education (including certificates or secondary school)
  • Extracurricular activities (anything you’ve done in your own time)

List them in chronological order, with the most recent first. Restrict the information you include to dates, locations and, most importantly, achievements. Start your sentences with strong verbs like ‘Managed’, ‘Achieved’, and ‘Oversaw’. For example, if you did some work in a coffee shop as a server, you could say you…

Provided excellent customer service, building strong relationships and securing repeat custom for the business.

Employers want to see what you’ve accomplished.

Customise it to the job you want

Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. That means looking through the job description on the job advert, and making sure you showcase where you match it, so that your application is really relevant to your employer.

Key skills can help you stand out from others, such as communication skills, teamworking, foreign languages or coding skills. Make sure that you’re really shouting about what you can do!

Check it

Make sure your CV is free of mistakes – run it through a spelling and grammar check or get a friend to read it! Make sure all the details and references are correct. Read it over several times, even read it aloud, and then ask someone else to check it. Show it to a careers advisor who is trained to help you do this kind of thing. Then check it again.


Need tips for writing your accompanying cover letter?

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