How to write a CV [PDF version available]

By 2 October 2014 No Comments

General Guidance

  • Have one basic CV, but adjust it slightly to reflect the position and employer.
  • Your CV must be clear and accessible.
  • Use a reasonable sized font (at least 10 pt) and don’t be overly creative with the formatting – it will only distract from the real focus of the document, which is you.
  • Don’t forget to check your grammar and spelling – at least twice.
  • Explain gaps in your career or educational history if you can.
  • The length of your CV will depend on you and your achievements – 2 to 3 pages is usually about right – but don’t pad it out. The trick is to be concise, but not incomplete.
  • Send your application as a Word or PDF document. The documents should be saved in Word or PDF in the following format: Your first Name, Your last Name, Document Name, and Date (yymm) e.g.: Pat-Jones-CV-1108

Remember, the purpose of your CV is to demonstrate your suitability for the role and to get you an interview – but do not be dishonest. If falsehoods are detected your application will be rejected.

CV Basic Template

  • Name and contact details: To include: First Name, Last Name, postal address, e-mail address and telephone number – Skype / Landline / Mobile, if you have them – prominently and clearly.
  • Employment history: List your prior jobs in reverse chronological order – with your most recent position at the top. Make sure to include your employer, department and role. Dates are best tabulated on the left hand side. Use bullet points to detail your relevant responsibilities and include some achievements, with numbers if at all possible.
  • Training: Highlight any training specific to the role you are applying for.
  • Education and qualifications: List your formal educational history in reverse chronological order, including: name of institution, degree type, dates attended, grade obtained and your professional qualifications.
  • Languages: List languages spoken / written and level of ability.
  • Country experience: List the countries in which you have worked.
  • Other: List any other activities such as voluntary or charity work, or positions of responsibility, particularly where they demonstrate leadership, initiative or extraordinary commitment. This is especially important for younger candidates but is also useful for relevant trusteeships, etc.
  • Interests: List 2 or 3 personal interests – genuine ones – e.g. rock climbing, theatre, etc. This is less important but some employers still like it.

There is lots of useful info on the web.

Try: by Google’s HR man.

Download this article as a PDF:

How to Write a Successful CV.pdf