Writing a CV can be stressful, especially if you’re starting from scratch, and 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, education and extracurricular activities. Part-time jobs go under work, secondary school under education and anything you’ve done in your own time should go under extracurricular activities. List them in chronological order, with the most recent first. Restrict the information you include to dates, locations and, most importantly, achievements. Employers want to see what you’ve accomplished.
- Customise to the job you want: Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for so they are relevant to your employer. Use the job description to match the skills you include with the ones the employer is looking for. Mention key skills that can help you stand out from others, such as communication skills, team working, foreign languages or computer skills.
- Check it: Make sure your CV is free of mistakes, including spelling and grammar and make sure all the contact 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.
For more information on the application process, take a look at our section on apprenticeship applications.