What To Include on Your CV – The Basics

Untitled design (47)John Willis and Christine Healey of Career Development Associates make some suggestions for what to include on your CV.

Your CV is a very important document, so it’s vital that you get it right.  Here are some things you should always include on your CV.

Personal Statement

Start with a short profile of yourself: something about your key qualities, aims and aspirations. Use positive language – for example:

Honest | Organised | Helpful | Reliable | Capable | Professional | Hard-working | Caring | Punctual | Innovative  | Dynamic | Flexible | Motivated | Efficient | Competent | Trustworthy | Keen | Innovative | Creative | Experienced | Enthusiastic

Key Skills

Emphasise the transferable skills that you have – for example

  • Knowledge of Health & Safety legislation and the implementation of this in the workplace
  • Organising and budgeting skills through managing a family and a home
  • Leadership skills developed in voluntary work
  • Well-developed driving skills or knowledge of vehicle maintenance
  • Sound knowledge of stock control including computerised systems
  • Able to operate a range of power tools for landscaping including brush cutters and mowers
  • Well-developed computer skills including familiarity with Microsoft Office packages
  • Excellent customer service skills developed in a busy high street retail chain

Make sure that you highlight skills that will be needed in the job you are applying for. If there is a Person Specification, follow it closely.

Use bullet points and be concise.

Employment History

Always start with your most recent employment – either paid or voluntary work. If you are still in post still include this. The further back you go, the less detail you need to give. List just the main duties for each post.

If you have had a career break, make it clear and say what you have been doing. For example:

“2000-2007   Career break to bring up my two children”.  In the earlier sections you can mention any experience, skills, voluntary work etc. from that period.

Education, Training & Qualifications

Include both nationally recognised certificates and in house training and skills gained during employment. Try to include the date you took a specific qualification and the grade (if relevant) and where you took the training. For example

April 2011: Fork Lift License – City/College

July 2007: 6 x GCSE’s Grades A-C  – X school

July 2009: Food Hygiene – City/College

Hobbies and Interests

Try to keep this section brief, but do add some detail relevant to the job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a horticulture post you might (rather than just listing Gardening) you could say

‘I enjoy gardening, especially growing my own vegetables for the table’.

For more help and advice on writing your CV, visit www.cda-southwest.co.uk

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