You are unique and therefore so is your CV - it needs to be clear and tidy, look professional, and reflect your skills, personality and experience.
Our guidelines below cover the basics of CV writing but, depending on your personal circumstances, not all tips may be applicable.
- What to include on your CV (essential information for the employer):
- Your full name
- Your address
- Your contact number (a mobile number / home number if you have one)
- Your email address.
- What NOT to include on your CV :
- Your National Insurance Number
- Your date of birth
- Your nationality
- Passport information
- Bank details
- Sex and Gender
- Marital status
- Disability details (this can be disclosed in your application process).
Tips to remember
Proof-read your CV - and then check it again!
Always run a spell-check on your CV and even ask someone else to read through it for you. It's really important to avoid spelling mistakes, and it's even more important to make sure your contact details are provided without errors (which might prevent a potential employer from reaching you).
Highlight your key skills
This is important for every role but especially for any specialist roles you may be applying for. Whether it be IT related, presentation skills or customer service based, you need to highlight your key skills to the hiring team. Try to list the skills you have that are most relevant to the post you are applying for, and expand on these where possible - they could be just what the hiring team is looking for in a candidate.
Don't just add - amend!
One of the biggest mistakes made with CVs is adding information to an old CV rather than updating what is already there. Obsolete or out of date information can come across as confusing and unclear.
How long should my CV be?
This question is often asked and is really dependent on your personal circumstances. For example, if you have just left education you may not have any work history - in which case you could list your work experience or any extra curriculum activities. If you have been in work for 20+ years, you may well have a lot more information on your CV. We therefore recommend that your most recent roles/education are definitely listed, and that your key skills are highlighted.
Showcase your achievements
Your CV often stands out when you include examples where you have excelled in previous roles. These could be exceeding key performance indicators (KPIs), involvement in projects or even recognitions or awards you have received. They will make your CV a really rounded summary of who you are, and also make it unique to you.
Files available to download
- CV template (15.9 KB)
A template to help you to write your CV