What should I include in my CV?

A good CV is essential if you want employers to take your job application seriously and to give you an interview for your dream job.

It’s best to re-work your CV whenever you apply for a job rather than having a stock standard CV. It will only take a few minutes, but it will enable you to show just how suited you are a role.

We have a list of the things you really should include if you want to present a complete and coherent picture of yourself to potential employers.

First things first, make sure you include your name and contact details (address, home phone number and cell-phone number). It’s also a good idea to include an email address (if you have a weird and wonderful address that you use for personal emails, perhaps you should consider a more serious one when applying for jobs).

Next, it can be useful to include a personal profile. Just three to four sentences about yourself will do, but make sure you identify your key strengths and attributes.

You can also include a list of your skills, providing examples where possible. It’s a good idea to state what you did, where you did it and what you achieved. No one will be impressed if you exaggerate or make up skills, so stick to the facts. And make sure you only list skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Include your employment history with your most recent position first. First give the name of your employer and your job title. It can be a good idea to list your main responsibilities if you think they are relevant. You can include part-time or voluntary work in this section.

List your education history. Include the name of your qualification, the name of the institution where you completed your qualification and the years that you attended. List qualifications in reverse chronological order with your most recent qualification first. If you have recently finished secondary school, then it is fine to include school qualifications, but if you have been working for a while, you don’t need to include your school grades. You can also include any professional development courses you have completed.

It can also be helpful for you to list your interests, especially if they are relevant to the job or demonstrate that you are a good leader or good at working in a team.

Finally, you should include two to three referees at the end of your CV (or as many as is stated on your job application form). They can be former employers, colleagues, teachers or coaches. Make sure you check with potential referees so they don’t get a surprise phone call.

Good luck with the job hunt!

To view a CV and cover letter templates click here.


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