If you haven’t written a CV before then it can be hard to know where to start but don’t worry! We have a few tips to help you get started and ideas on where to get further/individual advice.
Curriculum Vitae means ‘story of your life’ but don’t take this literally – be selective about what you include as in most cases your CV should fit on one or two pages. When it comes to your CV, the most important thing is that you tailor it, as far as possible, for each opportunity that you apply for. However, you can put together a good general CV that you can then work on when interesting opportunities appear. Here are six tips to help you get started:
- Keep it concise – One or two pages is about right and bear in mind that expectations on length can vary from country to country so check before you send!
- Always work in reverse chronological order, in every section your most recent experience should come first.
- Think from the perspective of the person reading the CV and what they will need to know. If you’re applying for a part-time job in a restaurant you won’t need the same detail as you would put on a CV for a permanent graduate position. Thinking from the recruiter’s perspective can help you select what’s most important.
- Take time to think about the experience you’ve had and the skills and insights you’ve gained from it. Whether it’s a part-time job in a bar, an internship, a day spent volunteering, time out travelling or a long distance race – they all require a variety of different soft skills or knowledge so don’t sell yourself short!
- Don’t use templates – it helps to look at different CV styles and examples to get ideas but your experience is unique so choose the style, format and headings that suit your experience and what you’re applying for.
- Update your CV as you go along adding everything new you’ve been involved in so you don’t forget anything.
If you want more help and to review examples before you get started then read our guide to CVs and cover letters.
Remember that we are here to help you! Once you have a first draft, you can book a one-to-one appointment on CareerHub to have a careers consultant have a look and give you feedback. Good luck!