Writing your CV

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Your CV is a marketing tool - not a list of what you have done.
Make sure your most important points stand out. Put yourself in the position of the prospective employer - what are they looking for? They will usually tell you in a job description or person specification. Rather than giving them a long list of what you have done and hope they can figure out what is important to them, make life easier for them, and emphasize the relevant parts of your experience or qualifications e.g. give more details about that experience. You need to show that what you have done in the past has given you the type of skills you need for this job.

Your CV should include:

  • Personal Details
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Specific Skills (e.g. Languages, IT)
  • Interests and Activities
  • Referees

Be brief
The purpose of the CV is to get you an interview. It doesn't need to include every detail, just enough of the right details to make you worth interviewing. Generally, no longer than 2 pages. But there are some exceptions e.g. for contract work you may want to include previous contracts, or an academic CV may include a list of publications.

Personal statement
You don't have to include a personal statement, but if you do, make sure it is concise and specific e.g. Graduate with 4 years of successful marketing management experience both in the public and private sector.

Be accurate
Prospective employers don't appreciate inaccurate information on a CV, and you may be asked to supply relevant documentation to verify qualifications etc.

Make it look good
Black text on white or cream paper is often best. If you are going to use coloured paper, or different coloured lettering, check what it looks like when you photocopy it (that is what the interviewer may do to give to their colleagues). Be very careful about the spelling.

Send a covering letter with your CV
This should include a bit about where you saw the vacancy, who you are and why you are interested in the job.

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