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5 tips on writing a successful CV

Written by: Claire Brandon
Published on: 26 Nov 2012

Woman looking at laptop

Pic: Christina wocintechchat, Unsplash

A good CV is vital when looking for work, especially when there are numerous candidates for the same job, so what should it contain?

There is no perfect template, and each sector may require a different emphasis on a different aspect of the content, such as career history or qualifications.

Below are our top tips on how a CV should be written and the information that should be included:

  • Don’t forget the basics – Contact details, education and qualifications, career history, own interests and references.
  • Presentation is key – The layout should be clean and well-structured. It should also be short, usually no more than two sides of A4 stressing achievements and strengths on the first page.
  • Tailor your CV to the role – The clues are in the job description, so read the details from start to finish and create a CV specifically for that role.
  • Interests – Highlight the skills that are relevant to the job especially if the skills or teamwork concerned are relevant for the job.
  • Make the most of experience - Use assertive and positive language under the work history and experience sections, such as "developed", "organised" or "achieved". For example: "The work experience involved working in a team," or "This position involved planning, organisation and leadership as I was responsible for a team of people".

Ensure you include references and keep your CV updated adding any new skills or experience.