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Top tips for CV writing

CV writing can be a tricky business, especially when there is so much conflicting information about what you should be including and how you should be laying the document out. Our tips should help to simplify the process of writing your CV, and hopefully improve you chances of landing that job!

Content and layout

  • Your contact details should come first, but don't waste unnecessary space on your CV by writing things like "Name: Joe Bloggs, Email address: joe.bloggs@example.com". Use you name as the title and state your contact details without specifying what they are - the reader will be able to identify an email address from a phone number. Some people put contact details in the header of the CV - this can look professional and save valuable space.
  • A good rule of thumb is to omit anything that isn't impressive or relevant to this particular job, without exposing large gaps. If you worked for an extended period of time in a industry that wasn't relevant to this job, don't focus on it too much. State what you did and how long for, and concentrate on any transferable skills that could be relevant.
  • If your employment history is more impressive (and relevant) than your education, list it first. If your education is more impressive than your employment history (which is often the case for recent graduates), list it first. Employers form an impression of someone within a few seconds of looking at a CV, so make sure yours grabs their attention in the right way.
  • Do give details where relevant, but avoid empty buzzwords and cliches.

Presentation

When it comes to CV writing presentation (unless you are applying for a particularly creative job) it's best to be traditional. Use a standard font and a font size of 10, 11 or 12 for the body of the article. Subheadings and bullet points help to divide the text up and make it more readable for busy employers.

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