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How to write a CV: The complete guide

2 months ago by Daniel Stargatt
How to write a CV - The complete guide

If you are looking for a new job then the most important thing for you to get right is your CV. A great CV will be the difference between getting an interview for the job you want or experiencing multiple rejections, so it’s key to get it right!

The thing to remember is that a CV is not a one fits all document. To stand out from the crowd you will need to mould it to the job you are applying for. This is so the person reading your CV can easily connect the dots and show that you are a good fit for the role. Honestly, tailoring your CV really can make the difference between getting an interview and not getting an interview, so take the time to make it the best it can be!

First things first, you need to get your template right so future adaptions can be done quickly and efficiently. This is why we thought we would create the complete guide to creating a killer CV. So let’s get started…

What should appear on your CV

Here we discuss the layout of your CV in terms of what you should include and the order you should include it in…

Name, professional title and contact details

The first thing to include is your name, home address, contact number, email address and your professional title. Make sure it’s clear, correct and doesn’t take up too much space as you have a lot to include over two pages. We also suggest you include any academic letters after your name, for example MRICS.

To reduce the amount of information in this section you don’t have to include your whole home address. Keep it to the town and county you live in, as that’s all the information an employer or recruitment consultant needs to ensure the role is a commutable distance from your place of residence.

Personal statement

The next step is your personal statement. This is a section that needs to be tailored to the job you are applying for, as this section offers an employer or recruitment consultant insight into who you are, what you’re all about and what you can bring to the role.

The key to this section is to be concise. You don’t have enough space to waffle, so really focus on picking out the most important things to describe who you are and what you can offer to the role. Below are three areas we suggest you cover within your personal statement…

  • Who are you?
  • What can you offer the company/role?
  • What are your career goals?

Experience and employment history

This is the section where you include your current and previous jobs. It’s important when doing this that you list your roles in reverse chronological order, so the first role listed is your most recent or current role. When listing your roles you will need to include the dates you worked from and too, your job title, name of employer and one or two lines that summarises the role.

Below this you should then bullet point your key responsibilities within this role, which we suggest you keep to the most important points of the role. Next you should include ‘Achievements’ as a sub-header and then bullet point your key achievements when in this role. It would be a good idea to include the key responsibilities and achievements that would help support your application for the role you are applying for.

If you have a lot of roles that you need to include in this section we suggest that you reduce the amount of detail for the older roles. This is to help save space and also employers and recruitment consultants won’t want to know as much detail about the roles you had over 10 to 15 years ago.

Education and qualifications

Just like the experience and employment history section, you should list your education and qualifications in reverse chronological order. You should include the name of the institution or University, the dates you were studying, the qualification and the grade.

Like your experience section, your education should be listed in reverse chronological order.

Key Skills

This section offers you the chance to highlight key skills you feel you possess. It’s very easy in this section to list pointless skills that don’t support your application. So we suggest that you include skills such as software you can use and skills that you feel make you stand out from the crowd. Really think about what key skills are needed in the role you are applying for when writing this section. Depending on how much space you have to play with we suggest you keep this to about 5 bullet points.

Hobbies

This is a great opportunity to showcase your interests and give the person reading your CV an insight into what you do outside of work.

References

If you have enough room then you can include a line that reads ‘references available on request’, but if you don’t have room then it’s ok to not include this on your CV.

Why formatting is so important

Formatting is very important when writing your CV. It’s absolutely key that you make your CV easy to look read and easy to digest the important information. Most employers and recruitment consultants reading CVs will scan through picking out the key info that are relevant to the job you are applying for, so make it easy for them to find and give yourself the best chance possible of being shortlisted for the role.

Additional CV advice

We have written a number of helpful articles discussing how to write a great CV. If you feel you still need more help then check the below articles out…

Are you looking for a new job in construction?

If you are considering your options and want to see what opportunities are available then check out all of our latest construction jobs. Alternatively you can get in touch with us to discuss your situation in more detail and get to work on finding a job that matches your needs and requirements.

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