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Writing a CV

The term ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (CV for short) comes from a Latin phrase meaning “the story of your life”. Your CV should give employers some basic information about you, your skills, qualifications, experience and work history.

When you are looking for work, it is really important to spend some time on our CV, as it will not only form the basis of many of your applications, but it is also a useful for you to work through what your key skills and strengths are when applying for work.

Here are our top tips to help you step into work with a great CV…

  1. Your CV should not be longer than two sides of A4 paper, and you should always use a computer to word process your CV in a clear font
  2. You need to include certain personal details, such as your name, your address, your telephone numbers, and your email address. You do not have to include your date of birth, gender or nationality
  3. Your CV is your personal advert. You should use positive and clear language to show your strengths clearly to a potential employer
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when writing your CV. It is a difficult process and the feedback of support agencies, friends, or family can help you write a better CV
  5. After you have filled out your personal details, the next section should be a personal statement. This only needs to be a few short sentences. This helps catch the employer’s attention and can be changed for each individual application to highlight key skills relevant to the job you are applying for
  6. The next section should include any qualifications you have and your work history. Don’t worry if there are gaps in this section. Just be sure you can explain what you have been doing with your time, for example, looking after children or volunteering
  7. If you don’t have much work experience, then think about what transferable skills you have picked up from other areas of your life and how these could benefit any potential employer
  8. Don’t forget to include a final brief section on your hobbies and interests. This helps a potential employer build a picture of as a person and can make you stand out from other applicants
  9. Always be honest on your CV and make sure you have evidence for anything you have written
  10. Always send your CV with a covering letter. This should be a short and concise overview specific to each individual application. You should introduce yourself and state any achievements and strengths relevant to the job in question