CV tips and advice

Your CV or Curriculum Vitae is the primary instrument you need to apply for a job. It is a summary of your working life which describes your education, experience, skills and qualifications in a way that demonstrates the benefits of a recruiter hiring you.

There are some key pieces of information you need to include in your CV such as contact details, education/professional qualifications and details of your previous roles. However, the way you present and structure this information will vary for each role you apply for.

How to write an effective CV

  • Think like an employer - consider what the employer is looking for in a candidate and arrange your most significant skills and experiences as early as possible in your CV
  • Highlight your relevant skills - try to reflect the job on offer to make it as easy as possible for an employer to match your skills with what they are looking for.
  • Be brief but informative – you need to provide relevant, detailed information about your experiences that make you a good fit for the role but too much information will turn the recruiter off.
  • Check it and check it again – spell check and carefully proofread your CV. You could also ask someone else to read it in case you have missed anything. Even the smallest mistakes could make the employer doubt your conscientiousness.
  • Sense check - when reading through your CV, try to place yourself in the position of an employer reading the document: does this CV really give you the information you want in the best possible way?

How to handle tricky subjects

1. Reasons for leaving jobs

We wouldn’t advise you including your reasons for leaving on your CV, unless an employer requests it. You decision to change jobs could be complicated and it may be easier to discuss this face to face at an interview stage, if the situation calls for it. Keep your CV positive and factual.

2. Gaps in experience

If you have any gaps in your experience, note the reasons why with a short, factual explanation. If you have recently graduated and have limited work experience, mention the skills you learned at university through group projects, your dissertation or thesis project and any volunteer work you have done.

3. Salary

Salary levels are dependent on many variables and they can be easily misconstrued so we recommend that you avoid referencing expectations in your CV. Instead, you can discuss this at a more appropriate time, for example at an interview.

If you need some further help or advice please give us a call on +44 (0)207 3950000.



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