How to write your CV

Your CV is the most important piece of self-marketing when you’re trying to find a job. It is really important that it portrays you in the best possible light. So, here are four steps to creating that perfect CV:

1. Think of yourself as a product that you are selling

  • Highlight your strengths or draw attention away from any gaps
  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Thinking about what you achieved in your tasks and responsibilities, not just what you’ve done
  • Use strong verbs in your CV that match the verbs used in the job descriptions

2. What ‘type’ of CV to use

  • Think about what will best present you and your skills
  • A chronological CV where you list employment/experience and education in date order is most accepted, but should be targeted to your audience
  • If you are trying to change career, a skills based CV may be more relevant to avoid drawing attention to the differences in your career choice
  • Visit for some handy CV templates you can use

3. What’s the best content for your CV?

  • Re-read your CV – every line – and ask yourself the question ‘where is the value to the job I’m going for?’ If there is none, take it out or change it!
  • Be credible – be specific about results and benefits to the organization that you have implemented, and give examples
  • Be logical – does every single sentence you write make sense when imagining yourself in the recruiter’s shoes?
  • Be ‘emotionally appealing’ – give some insight into you as a person, e.g. why did you make the change, why did you do something that way, why you want to work in this environment, how does what you say link to your interests and motivation in life?
  • Use positive language – the use of positive language can transform your CV and the way it appeals to an employer. This can also help with answering application form questions such as ‘what are your weaknesses’
  • Show that you have ambition – having long-term goals is something you should be proud of. Just be careful that you do not accidentally give the impression that you are using this job as a springboard to another job

4. Networking

  • Social media plays a big part in the way employers and recruiters search when hiring candidates
  • Using sites such as LinkedIn holds great potential for creating a profile that sells you as a professional, and allows you to start building your own personal brand
  • Make sure that you read the newspapers for current affairs and search the internet for up to date articles about the kind of work you are interested in.
  • Sign up to any professional bodies that may be relevant or simply ‘follow’ them on Twitter to get the latest buzz words and topics.